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How to Train Yourself to Go to Sleep Earlier

Whether it’s because your schedule has changed and you need to start waking up earlier or you just want to sneak in more snooze time, sometimes it makes sense to move your bedtime earlier. The question is: How can you do that without setting yourself up to lie in bed counting sheep? It takes a little advanced planning, but it can be done. Here’s how. Give yourself a curfew. First, set a specific bedtime for yourself. Turn off all digital…

Making a Resolution to Sleep Better? 5 Simple Tips

While the most popular New Year’s resolutions tend to be about exercising more often or eating more healthfully, many people also vow to become better sleepers. If you want to make 2017 the year that you finally prioritize your zzz’s, try these five easy tips.  Cut out your afternoon coffee and your nightcap. Caffeine and alcohol can make it tough to get quality sleep. Consider having caffeine only in the morning and early afternoon—you definitely don’t want any

The U.S. Army Prioritizes Sleep for Soldiers

Sleep, nutrition, and exercise—these are the 3 “pillars” of good health in the Army’s Performance Triad, a major public health campaign to support the well-being and readiness of soldiers. The first of its kind, the Performance Triad gives Soldiers research-based information and tools to take care of their health and achieve high performance levels. The Army is taking the research on sleep’s role in physical and mental health, strength, and performance seriously. Soldiers are versed in the merits of good…

How to Bank Sleep and Stay Alert for All-night Duty

It’s one thing to pull an all-nighter to cram for an exam or write a paper in college. It’s another thing altogether to be on all-night duty in the military: Alertness, focus, vigilance, and quick reactions are essential in that scenario. There’s no margin for error. The following proven strategies will help you stay sharp for the night shift. When you know that all-night duty is coming your way, try to bank some extra hours of sleep in advance to…

What is the Sleep/Wake Cycle?

There’s a reason that your eyelids start to feel heavy in the evening, and pop open in the morning—sometimes even before you’ve gotten enough sleep. Blame it on your sleep/wake cycle (also known as your circadian rhythm). The sleep/wake cycle is a daily pattern that determines when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to be awake. For most humans, the ideal cycle includes seven to nine hours of sleep (typically at night) followed by 15 to 17…

4 Tips to Maximize Your Circadian Sleep-Wake Rhythm

Our bodies function on many different time cycles (seasonal, monthly, weekly, daily). The daily cycle is referred to as a circadian rhythm (cira “about” diem “day). There are many types of circadian rhythms, including daily fluctuations in body temperature, blood pressure, alertness, and melatonin. Our sleep-wake cycle is an essential circadian rhythm that serves as the foundation for our daily well-being. The sleep-wake cycle is approximately 24 hours. However, for most people, their natural cycle is shorter or longer…

Maximizing Sleep During Summer Travel

During a recent trip, my return flight was repeatedly delayed and ultimately cancelled. Automatically, the airline rebooked me for three flights that night so I would arrive at my destination mid-morning the next day. Instead, I chose to stay in a hotel overnight and travel during the day. It was an easy choice – I had no major obligations the following day, and, most importantly, I needed to sleep. Talking with fellow passengers in the long line as we waited to rebook…

Don't Let Sunday Nights Get You Down—or Keep You Up

If there were one universal soundtrack for Sunday nights, it would sound like tossing and turning. In the U.S. and beyond, Sundays tend to be the toughest nights for people to fall asleep. Why? Often it’s as simple as staying up later—and sleeping in later—on the weekends, which is sometimes called “social jetlag.” That’s right: Staying up past midnight for a couple of nights when your usual bedtime is 10:00pm can have the same effect as flying from…

Can Sleep Affect Conception

When you’re trying to conceive, the recommendations for boosting your fertility can seem endless: Take this vitamin, cut back on caffeine, exercise more, exercise less, etc. But advice on how much sleep is needed to increase your chance of getting pregnant is rarely mentioned. That’s mostly due to the fact that the connection is still vague, but as more and more research is done on the subject, it’s an area that’s worth discussing with your doctor if…

Sleep Problems That Keep Kids Up at Night

Any parent knows that a child’s bedtime troubles don’t end after he moves out of the crib. Kids of all ages can have trouble sleeping through the night for a variety of reasons—some of which may surprise you. Identifying the root cause of your little one’s sleep issues can help the whole family get better rest. To help you get started, read on for five reasons why kids may lie awake at night. Wetting the Bed Middle-of-the-night accidents are fairly common…