An Afternoon Nap Might Make You Smarter

Sure, cozying up for a midday siesta sounds relaxing. But it may be even healthier for you than you think.

Want to ace that next test? Try taking a mid-afternoon siesta.

While the findings are preliminary, new research raises the prospect that sleep, specifically a lengthy afternoon nap, prepares the brain to remember things. Think of it as similar to rebooting a computer to get it to work more smoothly.

“Sleep is not just for the body. It’s very much for ...

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Your Internal Sleep Clock

Circadian rhythm isn’t a new type of dance step; it has to do with our internal sleep clock. Learn about how your sleep clock works.

Your pattern of sleep and waking is run by the body’s internal sleep clock. Governed by light, your internal sleep clock tells you when it’s time to fall asleep and wake up. Your internal sleep clock, otherwise known as the circadian rhythm, runs on a 24-hour cycle. Disruptions to the circadian rhythm and your internal sleep ...

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How Much Sleep Do You Need?

The number of hours of sleep you need to stay healthy and alert differs according to your gender and age.

Sleep is key to your physical health and emotional vitality, but just how many hours of sleep you need depends on your age, your stage of development, and your gender.

“Sleep is important for mental function: alertness, memory consolidation, mood regulation, and physical health,” says Phyllis C. Zee, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at ...

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Sleep Stages

Learn about the different stages of sleep, from light to deep sleep, after your head hits the pillow.

When you sleep, your body goes through several sleep cycles, each involving different sleep stages.

Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep every night, and during this time, your body goes through different phases. The four sleep stages of sleep include:

REM Sleep Confusion

While rapid eye movement (REM) sleep gets a lot of attention, researchers are still trying to decipher ...

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Daylight-Saving Time and Sleep

Daylight-saving time doesn’t have to disrupt your sleep schedule. A few simple tips help ensure sound sleep during daylight-saving time and beyond.

For most of us, the springtime switch from standard to daylight-saving time is merely an inconvenience. It might be the cause of skipped appointments if we manage to miss all those reminders telling us to move our clocks forward one hour on the second Sunday in March.

But for others, the first few days of daylight saving time ...

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10 Sleep Tips for Seniors

Don’t take sleep woes lying down! Here are 10 ways to overcome age-related sleep problems.

If sleep is becoming more difficult for you as you get older, try these steps:

1. Talk to your doctor. If you have a health condition that is making it difficult for you to sleep, such as severe arthritis, chronic pain, or obstructive sleep apnea, getting it treated may help you sleep better.

2. Limit caffeine and alcohol. Gehrman recommends avoiding excess caffeine and alcohol, since these ...

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Remedies for Sleep Problems Due to Aging

Getting a good night’s sleep is an important part of healthy aging, but sleep patterns change as people get older, interfering with the quality of our rest.

As people get older, their sleep patterns tend to change. Many older adults report being less satisfied with their sleep than they were when they were younger. But insomnia and other sleep problems are not a non-negotiable part of aging, and there are steps you can take to sleep better well into your ...

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The Link Between Sleep and Weight

Studies show that skimping on sleep may lead to weight gain. But can getting shut-eye help you lose weight?

We all know that diet and exercise are the cornerstones of a weight-loss program. But can sleep also help you maintain a healthy weight or even drop a few pounds?

“There are more and more studies showing that not getting enough sleep or not getting good quality of sleep can [contribute] to weight gain,” says Raj Kakar, MD, MPH, the medical director ...

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A Healthy Sleep Schedule for Teens

Getting teens to bed at a reasonable hour can help them behave and function better during the day. Here’s how you can get your adolescent on a healthy sleep schedule.

Teens typically need up to 10 hours of sleep each night to function at their best during the day. Problem is, many adolescents don’t get the healthy sleep they need. Getting teens on a regular sleep schedule can improve their health, as well as their performance at school and at ...

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Is Your Medication Making You Lose Sleep?

Certain medications can upset your normal sleep patterns. Switching medications or lowering doses under your doctor’s supervision can often fix the problem.

If you rely on medications for a chronic condition or even minor ailments, you may find yourself sleep-deprived or battling daytime drowsiness.

“Certain heart, blood pressure, and asthma drugs, as well as over-the-counter medicines for colds, allergies, and headaches, can interrupt normal sleep patterns,” says James Wellman, MD, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center of Georgia in Augusta. ...

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