Sleep.  How much is enough?  If you were to ask ten different people you would get ten different answers.  It does vary from person to person but according to WebMD “An average adult needs between 7.5 and 8 hours of sleep per night. But many people can function with 6 hours’ sleep, and there also some who need 9 hours or more.”

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Here are a couple signs you are not getting enough sleep.  1. You hit the snooze multiple times before fully waking up.  2. You pump yourself full of caffeine multiple times per day to stay awake.  3. Your energy levels are lower than normal.

So let’s say you are getting 8 hours per night but still experience the snooze bar, constant caffeine fixes and no energy the next day.  It’s time to evaluate if you are getting GOOD SLEEP.  Here a few ways to set yourself up for sleeping success.

Keep a regular sleep schedule:

  • Make it a habit to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.

Make your bedroom more sleep friendly:

  • Keep noise down. If you can’t avoid or eliminate noise generate your own white noise by setting your radio between stations. Earplugs may also help.
  • Keep your room cool. Most people sleep best in a slightly cool room (around 65° F) with adequate ventilation.
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable. You should have enough room to stretch and turn comfortably. If you often wake up with a sore back or an aching neck, you may need to invest in a new mattress or a try a different pillow. Experiment with different levels of mattress firmness, foam or egg crate toppers, and pillows that provide more or less support.

Use your bed for sleeping and sex:

  • If you regularly finish work or errands in bed it will become harder to relax and wind down. Keep it simple and focus on sleep and/or being romantic.

Get rid of anxiety and stress:

  • Keep it in check and leave work at work. A great way to take your mind off things is to read a book.

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What to avoid:  The most common mistake is looking at your phone or computer screen and watching TV.  Ask yourself the next morning when you are beyond tired if it was worth scrolling through endless irrelevant Facebook statuses or watching 6 episodes of Saved by the Bell.  Instant regret that you would gladly exchange for more sleep.

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