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How to Get the Right Amount of Sleep

From the Fit Community: How to Get the Right Amount of Sleep

Trouble sleeping? FitSugar reader meetcasey has a few words of advice. She posted her tips in our Get Fit For 2012 group.

Sometimes you just can’t get it right. “Too much sleep or too little sleep can be dangerous to your health.” OK, Goldilocks — how’s your porridge? The latest research says you need more than six hours of sleep a night, but no more than eight hours. So basically jury says, "We’ll take seven!"

Too little sleep puts people at a significantly higher risk of stroke, heart attack, and congestive heart failure, and people who sleep too much have a higher prevalence of chest pain and coronary artery disease.

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Read on for tips on getting quality sleep after the break.

Here are some tips for getting quality sleep:

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule: If you nap, be consistent and try to go to bed close to the same time every night — the idea that you can sleep less on the weekends and make up for it during the week is untrue.
  • Seriously, turn off the TV, computer, phone, iPad, and Kindle: Melatonin is what helps make you sleepy, and the production is controlled by light exposure. Your brain should secrete more in the evening, when it’s dark, to make you sleepy, and less during the day when it’s light and you want to stay awake and alert. By leaving the electronic devices on, it’s signaling “light” to your brain, so your brain tries to keep you awake.
  • Keep the bed for . . . bedtime things: If you do work, talk on the phone, play with the kids, etc., all on your bed, you’re “harboring energy” in a space that you’re supposed to associate with “quiet and winding down.” It’s just not going to happen.
  • Get some exercise: If done during the day (and not right before bed), exercise has been proven to help you sleep better . . . so can a balanced diet.

To good health!

Casey

www.meetcasey.com

Share your own tips in our FitSugar Community, and we may feature your post on our homepage!

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