How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Some lucky people can get by on only four to six hours of shut-eye a night. We hate to break it to you, but you’re probably not one of them. Here, the truth about how much sleep you really need — and what can happen if you don’t get it.

Thomas Edison thought it was waste of time. Bill Clinton used to brag that he could get by on only five hours of it a night. And Margaret Thatcher once famously ...

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Older Adults Do Get a Good Night’s Rest

Sleep disturbances, daytime fatigue not a given in later years.

The older you get, the better you sleep, according to new research that challenges conventional wisdom that a good night’s rest is harder to come by with age.

In a survey of 150,000 adults, people in their 70s and 80s had the fewest complaints of sleep disturbance, while those between the ages of 18 and 24 had the most. Except for a bump in complaints in middle age, sleep appears to improve ...

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Southerners Sleepiest, U.S. ‘Sleep Map’ Shows

Your home state may affect your quality of shut-eye, researchers say.

Where you live in the United States may influence how well you sleep, researchers report.

Southerners report the most sleep disturbances and daytime fatigue, while people in the West have the least, according to a new study that created state-by-state sleep maps for the United States.

University of Pennsylvania researchers created the maps using national data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Sleep disturbance is a major public health ...

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The Positives and Negatives of Napping

Feel an afternoon yawn coming on? Put down the coffee and make room for a little shut-eye.

Ever get that sleepy feeling in the late afternoon, where you just start yawning? Your body may be clamoring for a nap.

For many people, a late-afternoon snooze can be beneficial, said Steven M. Scharf, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland Medical School in Baltimore, explaining that the body operates on a 24-hour clock regulating sleepiness and wakefulness.

Ask most any night-shift ...

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Sleep and Circadian Rhythms

Circadian rhythms is the changes in your body over the course of a day. For example, in the morning your body changes the levels of the hormones which create the feeling of being awake and alert. In the evening, these levels change again, making you feel sleepy. Circadian is a combination of two Latin words: circa meaning ‘around’ and dies meaning ‘day.’

The SCN – Your Body’s Clock

You body needs to know what time it is. It uses cues like daylight ...

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The Stages of Sleep

There are five phases of sleep: stages 1, 2, 3, 4 and REM (rapid eye movement). Usually when you are sleeping, you begin at stage 1 and go through each stage until reaching REM sleep, and then you begin the cycle again. Each complete sleep cycle takes from 90 to 110 minutes. Your brain acts differently in each stage of sleep. In some of the stages, your body may make movements, but in others your arms and legs will be ...

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Top 10 Sleep Myths

We sleep about one-third of the day, but we know very little about sleep. Understanding these 10 sleep myths will help you clear up misunderstandings and get more and better sleep each night.

1. Sleep is Just Rest

Sleep is more than simply a period of rest; it is an essential time for your body to perform routine maintenance, creating long-term memories and repair damage from your day. Sleep brings many health benefits. Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night ...

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Stages of Sleep

The invention of the electroencephalograph allowed scientists to study sleep in ways that were not previously possible. During the 1950s, a gradate student named Eugene Aserinsky used this tool to discover what is known today as REM sleep. Further studies of human sleep have demonstrated that sleep progresses through a series of stages in which different brain wave patterns are displayed.

There are two main types of sleep:

The Beginnings of Sleep

During the earliest phases of sleep, you are still relatively awake ...

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Race and Sleep: 11 Surprising Facts

White men are the earliest risers — except on weekends (when black women beat them out of bed by 52 minutes)

Sleep is an increasingly precious commodity in today’s America. Although doctors recommend a solid eight-hours, a new study by the National Sleep Foundation reports that one in three Americans sleep fewer than six hours a night. Intriguingly, when it comes to getting a good night’s rest, some ethnic groups fare better than others. Here, a by-the-numbers breakdown of who’s sleepless ...

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