The ABCs of Getting Your Zzzzs

TUESDAY Sept. 11, 2007 -- Sleep doesn't have to be a struggle, say sleep experts at the Medical College of Georgia Sleep Disorders Center, who point to a few simple steps to improve sleep time and quality.

Keeping a regular sleep schedule throughout the week, including weekends, will improve overall sleep cycle, the experts say.

Adults should get seven to eight hours of sleep a night for optimal functioning during the day. Although it might be tempting, experts say it is best not to nap or sleep in on weekends. Rather, budget time every day to allow enough sleep time.

Working out can also help, the specialists say.

TV and caffeine before bed are true enemies of sleep, as is a cluttered bedroom. Make the room restful for sleep. Keep it at a comfortable temperature and minimize distracting outside noises with drapes, shutters or soft music.

If these home remedies don't help and fatigue is affecting daily activities, it may be time to consult a sleep expert. Many adults are not aware that they suffer from sleep apnea, a disorder in which a person wakes up when their breathing is interrupted during sleep. A sleep study can identify sleep apnea and other disorders that affect sleep.

More information

For more on sleep, visit the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Posted: September 2007


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