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Rules for Better Sleep

Sleep only as much as you need in order to feel refreshed and healthy during the following day, but not more.  Slightly curbing your time in bed seems to solidify sleep; staying in bed too long may lead to sleep that is
shallow and broken up.

It's best to get up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This strengthens the body's circadian cycling (your internal time clock) and leads to a reliable sleep onset time.

Studies show that regular exercise probably deepens your sleep; exercising only occasionally does not necessarily improve your sleep the following night.

Occasional loud noises (for example, aircraft flyovers) may disturb your sleep, even in people who think they are not awakened by noises and cannot remember any noises in the morning. Sound-attenuated bedrooms may help those who must sleep too close to noise.

Although, excessively warm room temperatures can disturb your sleep, there is no evidence that an excessively cold room temperature will improve your sleep. A cool sleep environment seems to be best for a good night's sleep.

Your sleep may be disturbed if you are hungry; a very light snack at bedtime may be slightly beneficial to your sleep.

If you have trouble sleeping, an occasional sleeping pill will likely help in that it will reduce the length of time it takes to fall asleep. It may surprise you to know that some sleeping medications results in poorer quality sleep.  Medication-induced sleep can be shallow and unrefreshing. At any rate, the long term use of sleeping pills is ineffective and not recommended for insomniacs.

Caffeine consumed during evening hours will disturb your sleep, even if you feel it does not.

Alcohol sometimes helps tense people fall asleep more quickly, but the ensuing sleep is then fragmented and broken up and often unrefreshing.

If you find yourself feeling angry and frustrated because you cannot sleep, the worst thing you can do is try harder and harder to make yourself fall asleep. If you are still awake after 20 minutes or so, try turning on the light and doing something quiet and different, like reading a book.

Smoking and the long-term use of tobacco disturbs your sleep.


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