You need at least eight hours of sleep for good health and energy.
New thinking: Sleep needs differ, and they change with age—there’s no one set formula for everyone. Research has shown that some people need up to nine hours of shut-eye a night, while others seem to function perfectly fine on a mere six or seven.
Keep in mind: It’s not just the quantity of sleep you’re getting—quality is even more crucial.
“Studies have shown that waking often during the night, which we call fragmented sleep, can affect how well a person functions during the day,” says Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., associate director of the Sleep Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Waking up often during the night can leave you crabby, forgetful, and worn out. The better rested you are, says Mindell, the more productive your workdays and your workouts.
While you can’t necessarily banish a partner whose snoring interrupts your slumber, there are other areas that you can control.
For example, limit your food and fluid intake just before bed to avoid indigestion (and those early-morning trips to the bathroom). And avoid relying on those nightcaps: Although alcohol can help you relax, it can also significantly disrupt the quality of sleep.
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