Wendy Troxel, a sleep researcher and adjunct professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, took to Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (AMA) to answer users’ questions about what we all dream of achieving: a good night’s sleep.
She shared some helpful dos and don’ts when it comes to achieving quality rest:
After an overworked week, it can be tempting to overdose on sleep, but spending too much time in bed doesn’t necessarily lead to an uptick in energy—instead, it can have the opposite effect. “When we sleep too much we often experience ‘sleep inertia’ (‘the body asleep tends to want to stay asleep’)—and when that happens we often feel that groggy/fatigued state,” Troxel said. As good as it feels in the moment, drifting off again after you’ve already woken up—even on weekends—may lead to a lethargic, drowsy day.
Do maintain a consistent wake-up time.
This directly relates to Troxel’s previous point: maintaining a regular sleep schedule throughout the week is key to achieving a healthy sleep cycle. This means getting up at a consistent time each day—even on weekends. “The time you wake up in the morning is actually even more important than the time you go to bed for ensuring a healthy night of sleep, because wake-up time helps to set your biological clock,” she said.
Don’t bring your work to bed with you.
The bed, advised Troxel, should be for “sleep and sex only.” While all artificial light before bed has been shown to delay natural sleep cycles, the blue light from electronic screens is particularly harmful.
For a restful night, “avoid engaging in other behaviors—work, watching TV, etc. in the bedroom.”
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