Healthy Sleep Habits

People often wonder what time is the best time to wake up and go to sleep. We’ve asked our experts and though the results definitely varied, all agree that getting enough sleep is the crucial factor in your health and well-being. So what does that mean, getting enough sleep? Essentially it means getting and maintaining enough deep sleep allows your body to repair and restore itself. As science is still far from knowing the exact science behind sleep, being as educated as possible will help you to sleep better which ultimately means living a healthier life.

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Some people say that going to sleep at 10 pm and waking up at 6 in the morning is the most optimal times to sleep and rise, however as long as you’re consistently falling asleep and waking up at the same time each day, you can get in tune with your natural sleep rhythm which will help to ensure that you achieve delta sleep, the stage in which your body strengthens, repairs and rebuilds tissues.

Get yourself on a sleep schedule by setting a regular bedtime. It can be hard to get used to at first but consistency is key. Keep in mind that it usually takes the average adult approximately 14 minutes to fall asleep so choose a time when you normally start to feel drowsy so that you don’t toss and turn while trying to fall asleep. Make sure to allow yourself 7 to 9 hours of sleep before you have to wake up, and make sure to wake up at this same time every day.

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                                                                      Infographic Courtesy of the Mayo Clinic

If you can swing it, you can even experiment with different sleep times for a week or two. Go to sleep at the same time every night and allow yourself to wake up naturally. This may help you to decide what works best for you. Also, try not to break the cycle on the weekends, no matter how tempting this may be. Once you’re on a consistent sleep schedule, not only will your body feel better but you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and energized.

If you lose out on any sleep, take a nap in the afternoon to make up for it instead of sleeping in and disrupting the cycle that you’ve worked so hard to put into place. This allows you to pay off your sleep debt without throwing your schedule off.

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Daylight plays a major role in sleep because the light exposure regulates when certain hormones are secreted to make you feel sleepy. Spending more time in natural day light during waking hours will help to regulate your sleep hormone, melatonin. When it’s darker at night, your body’s natural melatonin production will come into play and make you drowsy at an appropriate time. Using your mobile devices and/or watching TV can disrupt your melatonin production and can cause you to have issues falling asleep. Before bed, turn your devices off, keep your room dark and quiet, still your mind and relax.

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Giving yourself enough time to snooze the night away is just as important as eating right and exercising, so be good to your body.  Put yourself on a sleep schedule, save your emails and texts for the morning and get comfy. Your body will get the chance it needs to repair itself and you’ll wake up feeling energized and refreshed and ready to take on the day.

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