Sleep Tips and Tricks

Dr. Mallika Marshall discusses sleep needs and how to get better rest.
2:42 | 03/06/12

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Transcript for Sleep Tips and Tricks
We all know the importance of sleep but everyone's asleep means are actually different. Doctor Malcolm Marshall medical director for every day help is here to explain what's behind -- -- means. And how to wind down and achieve a better night's sleep -- -- -- great to have you hair thanks for having federal some people who are genetically blast and simply need five hours of sleep about right. -- apparently. German researchers have found that there's a small percentage of the population that can probably get by and just for five hours of sleep -- night. We're talking about a very small minority may be up to 5% of people. So for the vast majority of us American adults. We need about seven -- hours sleep -- night seven or eight hours -- but it is genetic this need is something we've inherited from our ancestors that's for Harris and so. What is what are your best tips for a good -- Clinton what do we need to do. I -- to the best thing to do is actually have could sleep habits which I know easier said than done right but you really need to try to get to bed at the same time every night. On the weekdays as well as the weekends -- get up around the same time you want to fall asleep -- a quiet dark cool place you wanted to something relaxing before you try to go to sleep. So you shouldn't be on the phone you should be watching TV shouldn't be were playing words with friends like I do it down a lap I had done I have absolutely you know read a book for ten minutes. And then try this news if you find that you've been lying in bed for thirty minutes and it's just not gonna happen don't stay there and make yourself crazy get up go into another room do something else. And maybe thirty -- forty minutes later try again. Other important things to do are to avoid caffeine late in the day avoid alcohol with checks that can help you fall asleep -- you tend to wake up earlier than normal avoid tobacco. Don't exercise right before you go to bed although exercise earlier in the day is actually very helpful. And if you do a lot of those things I think you're gonna find you can get a better night's rest and if we are you know like so many of us not getting enough sleep how does this top compound a lack of sleep a fact that. In many ways so you know at baseline it's gonna make you grumpy and irritable it increases your risk of anxiety and depression. It can affect your immune systems -- may be more likely to get infections. There's some evidence to suggest that it might increase your risk of high blood pressure possibly cancer possibly obesity. Also poor work performance and job performance and -- reaction time in fact they found that if you have been sleep deprived for two weeks. Your level of mental alertness is on par with someone who is legally drunk so I really have -- affected very dramatic end and the risk of accidents Israel is real because you know if you've gotten a bad night's sleep. You can experience what's called micro sleep sleep the next day which means -- sort of doze off for a short period of time in my behalf the second might be too with three seconds -- so what if you're driving on the highway -- -- -- if you've experienced -- I have figured tired here on the highway you're kind of nodding off. If you policy for three seconds and you're driving sixty miles an hour you have travel 250 miles per hour. I sleep -- -- had drive off the road to run into another car absolutely terrified now is there any chance of recovering lost sleep tacking up as a war everybody asks me that and the answer is now cannot get six hours asleep. -- night during the week immensely twelve hours on Friday night and expect to make it up however if you get a good bad night's sleep and -- -- the next day that's sort of gets added to your sleep total and that can be benefit show naps are a couple naps are great soccer Marshall thank you so much for being with us today -- sent him.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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