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Sleep Hygiene

6 Caffeine-Free Ways to Feel Refreshed Each Morning

In an ideal world, you’d get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night that you need and wake up each morning feeling ready to conquer the day. Unfortunately, the average American logs just six and a half hours nightly, and that’s before accounting for bouts of insomnia or other sleep disturbances. The bottom line: Waking up feeling energetic may sound like an elusive goal. But it isn’t. Here are six ways to fake it until you make it.Skip the nightcap.Sipping on a glass of wine might feel like a perfect way to wind down in the evening, but alcohol can actually hamper the quality of your sleep. While…

Healthy Sleep in a Broader Context

My sleep was cut short more than once this week when I awoke at 4:40 am to the chorus of birds outside my window. After awakening to the joyful early morning chirps, I started thinking about the workday ahead. Before I knew it, I had to get up and start the day. My disrupted sleep is a reminder that our sleep occurs in a broader context, some of which is outside our control. Regardless of all of my healthy sleep behaviors: following a routine bedtime schedule, maintaining a dark and cool bedroom environment, and turning off electronics in advance of bedtime, my sleep was still affected by outside forces Despite engaging in healthy sleep behaviors,…

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 you’re planning to have a baby. Discover what you need to know, below. Don’t Sleep In. Women undergoing IVF who scored seven to eight hours of sleep a night were 25 percent more likely to become…

The Real Benefits of Beauty Sleep

It might sound like a myth that’s being peddled on a late-night infomercial, but eight hours of sleep really can help you look and feel your best. Why? It comes down to what happens in your body when you drift off.Your Body Pumps Out Healing Hormones.While you’re sleeping, your body—and your skin—are hard at work healing themselves. During the deeper phases of sleep, your body produces growth hormone, which repairs daily damage from things like sun exposure and pollution and creates new cells so you wake up looking brighter, fresher, and more vibrant. That’s why bedtime can be a great time to apply a hardworking night cream to accelerate the restorative process.You…

What Does Losing an Hour's Sleep Mean to You?

Many people experience a mix of emotions with the start of Daylight Saving Time, including an appreciation for the longer days, annoyance at the need to change every clock, and hope that spring will soon arrive. Accompanying these emotions are the physical and mental challenges of adapting to the time change. These challenges are due, in large part, to the loss of an hour’s sleep. What does losing an hour’s sleep mean to you? Think of all the benefits we gain from sufficient, high quality sleep. Better cognitive performance, increased emotional regulation, heightened ability to make healthy choices, and more efficient physical activity, are just some of…

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath in the Morning

Take a breath of fresh air—without sending your bedmate running—with these top tips. It might just be sleep’s most unfortunate side effect: morning breath. The big reason? A drop in saliva production while you snooze gives bacteria an open invitation to hang out and grow, producing what are called volatile sulfur compounds or VSC’s (a.k.a. the stench). While some level of less-than-freshness is inevitable after a good night’s rest, follow this advice to keep your breath from scaring away your partner. Consider Your Sleep Style. Saliva production naturally slows when you sleep. But if you snore or sleep with your mouth open, your mouth gets even drier. And the drier your mouth, the less it’s able to…

Sleep Better in Summer

Mind these five strategies for sleeping soundly even during the dog days of summer. It’s best to sleep in a dark room that’s ideally between 60 and 67 degrees.  Unfortunately, the long daylight hours and steamy temperatures of summer can make that goal hard to achieve. Find restful nights—even during the hottest season of the year—with these summer sleeping tips. Move the Air Best-case scenario: You can flick on an air conditioner to get even the hottest nights under control. But if AC isn’t an option for you, fans can go a long way to help make you more comfortable. Try to make a path for air to flow by opening several windows, and consider placing…

Is it Bad to Fall Asleep on the Couch?

Find out how the couch could be sabotaging your sleep. If you’ve ever woken up with a crick in your neck after spending the night on a friend’s couch, then you might have a sneaking suspicion that couches don’t make the best sleeping surfaces. While catching a nap on the couch here and there as a supplement to your nighttime sleep isn’t the end of the world, it’s best to cover your basic sleep needs in a bed. Just like you can sleep poorly on the wrong mattress, consider how your couch supports your body while you sleep. The ideal sleeping surface gives you room to move and supports your body—in whatever position…

#GoodNights Bedroom Tour and Q&A With Lifestyle & Organization Blogger Meg Biram

  Meg shares how making #GoodNights a priority helped get her refresh her bedtime routine and ease insomnia conserns in this exclusive Q&A! Each month, the National Sleep Foundation is partnering with select bloggers and digital influencers for a new iteration of the #GoodNights challenge. We’ll explore new ways to get a good night’s rest by showcasing real life examples of how a good night’s sleep can positively impact your body, mind and spirit. We know that many of our readers want real life tips for sleeping better, so follow along and share your own #GoodNights stories by using hashtag across social media channels like Twitter and Instagram.   April’s Sleep Challenge It took a bit longer than usual…

Design A Sleep-Friendly Bedroom For Your Child

5 essential sleep items your child’s room should have My two kids (3 and 6 years old) climb happily into bed at night. It’s not to say that bedtime is always smooth—they don’t want to stop building towers or running laps in Superhero costumes. But as their routine unfolds and they shift modes, they don’t fight sleep. They welcome it.Video production in partnership with There are lots of reasons for this (more sleep secrets to come), but one is that the bedroom is…