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Sleep Timing & Duration

Does Sleeping Longer or Shorter Impact Your Weight?

The surprising connection between hours clocked sleeping and what the scale says Not getting enough sleep on a regular basis won’t just make you tired—it will also likely cause your weight to rise. In fact, people who sleep for less than five hours a night are almost a third likelier to gain weight (30 pounds over the course of 16 years) than those who get seven hours of shut-eye a night. What’s the Connection? There are actually a lot of factors at play here. One is that a lack of sleep can affect the way your body regulates appetite, making you hungrier than you would be if you were well-rested. Specifically, your body gets a boost in…

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 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 Many Hours of Sleep Do You Need?

Learn how to figure out your particular magic number. Common lore would have you believe that everyone needs seven to nine hours of sleep a night to feel their best—and for the majority of adults, that’s true. However, there is (unfortunately!) no one-size-fits-all answer. Many factors (like age, your body’s base or innate need for sleep, age, sleep quality, pregnancy, and sleep debt) play a role in establishing your particular “magic number.” As you age, your sleep needs change — older adults may need less sleep, seven to eight hours after age 65, for example, than their  younger counterparts. Sleep needs are individual, and change as you age. Newborns,…

Teenagers and Sleeping In: How Long is Too Long?

Find out when sleeping in is normal—and when it is a red flag. The unfortunate truth is that most teens need far more slumber than they are getting: The recommended amount of shut-eye for children ages 14 to 17 is eight to 10 a night, but most rack up just seven-and-a-half hours a night. That’s one to two hours of sleep deprivation, on average, every night, which can lead to major sleep debt and wreak havoc on a teen’s mental and physical health. A hectic schedule and staying up until the wee hours doing homework, watching Netflix, or texting friends is sometimes partly to blame, but a teen’s internal body clock or circadian rhythm…

Get Your Baby to Sleep Longer

Simple solutions for when your little bundle of joy wakes up way too early It’s completely normal for your baby to wake up at 6:00am or 6:30am, all ready to start the day. However, if your little one routinely wakes up before dawn and that schedule is leaving you, the baby, and the rest of your family seriously sleep-deprived, there are tricks you can use to help move the baby’s wake-up time to a later hour. Sleep Training Tips for Children Video production in partnership with

How to Stay Asleep Throughout the Night

End middle-of-the-night awakenings with these tips for sounder slumber. In an ideal world, you’d stay fast asleep from the moment your head hits the pillow until the time your alarm goes off. But, if you’re like many people, you instead spend some of that time counting sheep and struggling to get back to sleep. If it’s any comfort, you’re not alone: Midsleep awakening—also called sleep maintenance insomnia—is a common problem that affects twice as many women as men and is more prevalent in middle age. You can blame the disturbance on many factors, such as the need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, chronic pain, stress,…

How to Get Rid of Sleep Debt

Follow these easy tips to catch up on your zzz’s fast. Think you can learn to survive on less than six hours of sleep a night? Think again. Adults typically need between seven and nine hours of shut-eye a night to function at their best. Between health care expenses and lost productivity, insufficient sleep in the U.S. rings in at an annual cost of about $66 billion. How come? When you’re awake, a chemical called adenosine builds up in your blood, and when you sleep, your body breaks it down. Skimp on sleep, however, and adenosine builds up in your bloodstream, making you more and more desperate to…

How Long Is an Ideal Nap?

Learn how many minutes to doze to feel happier and more alert. To nap or not to nap: That is the question! You may think that taking a catnap will make you feel more tired than skipping it altogether, but that’s not necessarily true. The key to waking up refreshed from a nap is all about timing. Just 20 minutes is all you need to get the benefits of napping, such as improved alertness, enhanced performance, and a better mood. Naps of that length keep you in the lightest stage of non-REM sleep, making it easier for you to get up and go after your snooze session. Be sure to set an alarm so you…

How Long Should It Take You to Fall Asleep?

It may not be as long as you think. If it takes you quite a while to fall asleep at night, then you’re in good company. Many people struggle to slip into the Land of Nod for a wide variety of reasons. It’s normal to take 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep once you climb into bed (this is called sleep latency). If it takes more or less time than that, then your body may be trying to tell you something. If it takes you an hour or longer to nod off: You may be sleeping too much or you may be grappling with insomnia. This can happen if you have trouble…