How Much Sleep Do You Need?

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It's true, there is no magic number. The amount of sleep you need can depend on age, gender, activity level, and even genes.

Studies suggest that adults need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. You will be the best judge on if you wake up feeling rested after seven, eight, or nine hours of sleep.

Research certainly has shown is that sleeping too little can not only inhibit your productivity and ability to remember and consolidate information, but lack of sleep can also lead to serious health consequences and jeopardize your safety.

For example, short sleep duration is linked with:

  • Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents.
  • Greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation.
  • Increased risk of diabetes and heart problems.
  • Increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse.
  • Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information.

Here are some tips to help your body find it's own magic number:

  • Establish consistent sleep and wake schedules, even on weekends.
  • Create a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or listening to soothing music. Begin an hour or more before the time you expect to fall asleep.
  • Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.
  • Use your bedroom only for sleep (avoid watching TV, using a computer or reading in bed).
  • Finish eating at least two to three hours before your regular bedtime.
  • Exercise regularly during the day or at least a few hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol products close to bedtime and give up smoking.

Get a good night's rest, the benefits are endless.

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