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We all need sleep; it’s one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. Sleep gives our mind and body the chance to recharge for the next day. But with the hustle and bustle of life today, we have so much to do with so little time. So how much sleep do we really need?
Is There A Magic Number?
Studies by Daniel Kripke, M.D., co-director of research at the Scripps Clinic Sleep Center in La Jolla, California, show that people who get 6.5 and 7.5 hours of sleep a night live the longest, are happier, and are most productive! Those who sleep 8 hours of more, or less than 6.5 hours, don’t live as long. As a matter of fact, many ailments are related to too little or too much sleep such as insomnia, depression, and obesity. Of course there is no set number for every person. Everyone is unique. Try different amounts and see what fits best for you.
The 8 Hour Myth
We’ve all heard that we need to get our 8 hours of sleep every night. This is actually untrue. The fact is it’s fine to sleep under 8 hours. Most people spend too much time in bed worrying that they aren’t going to get their full 8 hours, causing them to have difficulty falling asleep, or stay asleep during the night. Rest easy, it’s OK.
Who Would Have Thought?
During our lifetime, we will be sleeping approximately 24 years. That’s a lot of sleep! Another strange fact is that women need more sleep than men. Well-known sleep expert Jim Horne explains womens’ brains are more complexly wired compared to mens’, and need a little extra sleep. And spending less time in bed makes you fall asleep faster and sleep sounder.
From time to time you have a sleepless night. Whether you pull an all-nighter, or just stay up way too late, it happens. But in the end you feel exhausted, cranky, and sometimes even sick. When you are sleep deprived, your ability to focus and your brain activity are extremely low. So make sure you get to bed on time.
Healthy Sleeping Habits
To achieve the optimal sleeping patterns for health and success, there are three basic techniques you can practice.
• Nap every day: Don’t nap more than 30 minutes, so you will be tired enough to fall asleep easy later on. If you can’t nap, at least rest for 15 minutes or so, when you get a chance.
• Set your body to sleep: Develop a nightly ritual that relaxes your state of mind to focus and be ready for sleep.
• Make yourself tired: Challenge your mind and body so you can sleep faster and deeper. Try working out during the day and reading before bed.
Getting the right amount of sleep is very important. The ultimate goal is getting the best sleep for your happiness, longevity, and productivity. So sleep well tonight!