Sweet Dreams: The Secrets of Sleep

Weekend Sleeping Patterns

Get up at the regular time on weekends, plus or minus an hour. Have a standard wakeup time for every day of the week. If you wake up at 6 am Monday through Friday, then sleep until 10am on the weekends, you're giving yourself the equivalent of jet lag.

Have a quick nap later in the day, no longer than 30 minutes. Any longer than that and you go into stage three or four sleep, but not REM sleep. It's a zone that'll leave you groggy and disoriented when you wake up.

Create a Sleep Friendly Environment

You need a cool, dark room because that's what the body likes in order to sleep. That means no distractions in the bedroom like laptops, or televisions. The light is a stimulant and keeps you from falling into sleep. You also should sleep in non-restrictive clothing.

If you're in a loud area, you should consider a white noise machine, which blocks other noises without interfering with sleep.

People also underestimate the importance of a mattress. You should test drive yours at least 15 minutes, checking for comfort, support and heat. Some mattresses trap heat. If you feel hot on the mattress then it's not the right one for you.

Fast Fact: If you have a less expensive mattress, you should flip it every few months.

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