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Sleep Hygiene

How to Get on a Sleep Schedule

Follow a regular schedule to live a happier, healthier life. Erratic sleep patterns can leave you feeling out of whack, so a regular sleep schedule may be exactly what you need. Just a few adjustments to your daily routine can help you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. These tips will help you take control of your internal clock. Be Consistent. Pick a bedtime and a wake-up time—and stick to them as much as possible. Life will inevitably interfere, but try not to sleep in for more than an hour or two, tops, on Saturdays and Sundays so that you can stay on track. That way, your body’s internal clock—also called…

How to Get More Sleep

Seven simple strategies to boost the amount of shut-eye you get each night If you’re tired, you’re not alone. About 40 percent of Americans don’t get the recommended seven to nine hours of shut-eye per night. A hectic schedule may be to blame for some of the sleep you’re missing, but here’s the good news: The following tweaks to your lifestyle might help you regain that lost slumber and start getting an optimal amount of zzz’s. 1. Manage Your Stress. A high level of anxiety can keep you awake at night, so address the cause of your stress—whether it’s a deadline at work or a family conflict—in order to score more sleep. Writing down what…

Improve Your Sleep...Tonight!

Science-backed tips that are bound to help you sleep better Reaching dreamland may seem like Mission Impossible when you’re watching the minutes tick by on your alarm clock at 3:00am. The good news is that there are plenty of things that you can do to get a more restful night’s sleep. In fact, scientists have tested some tried-and-true tricks (also called “sleep hygiene” tips) that you can practice regularly to ensure that you fall—and stay—asleep. Follow these six pieces of advice to sleep better tonight: Stick to a Schedule. Keep your sleep/wake cycle (also called your circadian rhythm  on track by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day—even on…

How to Fall Asleep Fast

Don’t let tossing and turning rob you of the shut-eye you need. You know a good night’s sleep is the key to a happy and well-rested tomorrow. And getting enough shut-eye can help you drive more safely, maintain a healthy weight, and even lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes. But if you’re stuck in a cycle of tossing and turning—and then start stressing about the fact that you’re tossing and turning—it’s all too easy to feel frustrated. Not so fast: With these tips you’ll be snoozing within minutes of your head hitting the pillow. Set a Routine. If you get up early one morning and then sleep in the next, it can be…

How to Design the Perfect Bedtime Routine

Develop these five healthy nightly habits to ease into sleep. Establishing a pre-bedtime routine—a.k.a practicing good “sleep hygiene”—is likely to help you fall asleep more easily at night and stay asleep until morning. And it’s not as hard to do as you might think. Try working these five habits into your evening for better sleep. Habit #1: Stay on Schedule. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day—even on weekends—is crucial for setting your body’s internal clock, which experts call your circadian rhythm. Staying consistent also means that the quality of your sleep will be better. Habit #2: Be Mindful of What you Eat and Drink—and When. Nicotine and caffeine are stimulants that can take…

Sleep Environments Around the World

Outside the western world, some cultures sleep much differently than you. You might think that everyone around the world sleeps on a plush, bouncy mattress. But, in reality, the U.S. and other wealthy western cultures are outliers when it comes to sleeping environments. Often due to socioeconomic factors, expensive mattresses aren’t used in many cultures. Others avoid using them because they take up lots of space in a room, they’re heavy and awkward to transport, and they’re often quite soft and don’t always provide ample back support. Find out how people in other cultures catch their zzz’s. Bed Rolls or Futons: Many Japanese people prefer sleeping on what are called tatami mats. A tatami mat…

Common Sleep Customs Around the World

Find out what’s really going on behind bedroom doors across the globe. You might think that sleep is the great equalizer among people all over the world. And in some ways, it is. After all, all people rely on restful nights to recharge their bodies and minds. But how people sleep, where people sleep, and even what people wear in the sack varies with longitude and latitude. Read on to learn about unique sleep customs around the world that may surprise you. Sleep is a Family Affair. In most of the world, babies—and children—sleep with their parents. And the custom is a tough one to change. While the U.S., the United Kingdom, and parts of Europe…

What is Sleep Hygiene

Certain eating and exercise habits, nighttime routines, and more can help you wind down before bed. While the word “hygiene” conjures up images of hand-washing and teeth-brushing, sleep hygiene is different. It’s the habits that you can put in place each evening to optimize sleep. Don’t worry—it doesn’t take much effort. Just a few simple changes can make the difference between a good night’s sleep and night spent tossing and turning. Create a Zen Bedroom Learn how to set the right scene, so your space is peaceful and calm. Get earplugs or a sound conditioner: Extraneous noise in the bedroom can disrupt your sleep; use whatever you need to create a quiet environment. Just try to ensure that…

Health Benefits of Napping

Surprising ways a quick snooze is good for you For those who haven’t gotten enough sleep at night, a nap can often be the perfect solution. Want proof? Check out a few of the health benefits of naps: Recharge Naps boost alertness and improve motor performance, which is why you feel energized after taking one. The length of your nap determines the benefits. A 20-minute snooze—called a stage two nap—is ideal to enhance motor skills and attention, while an hour to 90 minutes of napping brings Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, which helps make new connections in the brain and can aid in solving creative problems. Set an alarm to make sure you get just the right…

Get Your Child to Learn to Love Bedtime

Three surefire ways to end evening battles. Even when your toddler or preschooler is exhausted, he or she still may resist being put to bed. And you can’t blame tots: In their eyes, all the exciting stuff happens after the lights go out, and they’re not being included! Luckily, with a few small tweaks to your evening schedule, you can help make bedtime a fun part of your child’s day that he or she will actually look forward to. Sleep Training Tips for Children Video production in partnership with