Tips to improve Sleep Time

<p>To function optimally we need to sleep well. However, according to the US national sleep foundation around 75% of the population experience weekly sleep problems, nearly 40% don’t get enough sleep on week nights and nearly 40% are <i>“so sleepy during the day that it interferes with daily activities”</i>. Are you getting the sleep you need to make good use of your daily time? Here are tips to help you sleep better.</p>
<img src="/sites/default/files/sleep-time.jpg" alt="Sleep Time" width="300" /><!--break-->
<p><a href="">Im... Filomena Scalise /</a></p>

Lack of sleep time may lead to poor concentration, poor decision making, accidents and being difficult to be work or live with. Conversely, oversleeping is bad for you, and can leave you feeling tired and sleepy for the whole day. Further, a study by the University of California found that adults who only get 6 to 7 hours of sleep a night live longer than those who sleep more than 8 hours or less than 4 hours a night. (Source – Archives of General Psychiatry, 15 Feb 2002). You may want to read the article on <a href=" to live longer</u></a>.
Recommendations for a good night’s sleep include:

<h3>1. Maintain a regular sleep schedule</h3>
By going to bed at around the same time each night allows your body to establish sleeping habits. If you sleep at differing times each time of the week it is harder for your body to adjust. A study by Finley and Cowley has shown that regular sleeping habits leads to a “shorter latency between retiring for bed and sleep”.

<h3>2. Exercise regularly</h3>
Research has shown that those who regularly exercise are more likely to get a good night’s sleep and typically have more daily energy (Nieman). However, it is recommended that you do not exercise close to sleep time as this may hinder sleep.

<h3>3. Watch when you eat</h3>
Don’t sleep on a full stomach. Allow a couple of hours after finishing your last main meal for the day. Conversely, it is important not to go to bed hungry as this may keep you awake.

<h3>4. Watch when you drink</h3>
Avoid coffee, tea, or Coke late in the day as the caffeine stimulates the mind and keeps it alert making it more difficult to sleep. While alcohol can appear to aid sleep by slowing down brain activity, it actually results in interrupted sleep.

<h3>5. Create a good sleep environment</h3>
It is easier to sleep in a cooler room (with suitable blankets), which is dark, and has a comfortable mattress and pillow(s).

<h3>6. Empty your mind</h3>
It is hard to sleep if your mind is still racing. One tip is to empty your mind by writing a list of ‘to do’ things on a note book beside your bed.

<h3>7. Check if you have a sleep disorder</h3>
Some people have had sleepless night for years due to sleeping disorder. For example, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome. In some cases, this condition can be treated, resulting in a good night sleep.

<h3>8. Dealing with oversleeping</h3>
Consider positioning your alarm far enough from your bed so that you need to get out of bed to turn it off. Steve Pavlina writes about his technique in the article - <a href=" to get up right away when your alarm goes off</u></a>. Having children also helps prevent oversleeping.
<b>Related CraveTime articles:</b>
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"><u>Energy Management - How managing personal energy levels saves time</u></a>

<li><a href=""> <u>Reduce down time from Sickness</u></a>

<li><a href=" Time by Living Longer</u></a>

<li><a href=" busy people need exercise</u></a>

<b>Other Articles of Interest</b>
<li><a href="" target="_blank"> <u>16 Facts about Sleep (infographic)</u></a>

Finley C.L & Cowley B.J, <i>“The Effects of a Consistent Sleep Schedule on Time Taken To Achieve Sleep”</i>, Clinical Case Studies 2005; 4;304

National Sleep Foundation, <i>“Sleep Facts and Stats”</i>

Nieman, D, <i>“Can exercise help me sleep better?”</i>, ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, May/June 2005.



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The increased death rate for people who sleep more than 8 hours and less than 4, or in some studies 7 hours, is more likely not related to the sleep duration but rather that other factors which have increased their risk of death also affect their sleep duration. See for more information.