26 Ways to Sleep Better
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How to create the most comfortable bed you'll ever sleep on
To help bridge the gap, a new app called SleepRate delivers the therapy to your iPhone. The app works with a heart rate monitor, logging your heartbeats as you sleep, while your phone records ambient sounds, such as a snoring spouse or barking dogs. Once the app collects data for five nights of a nine-night stretch, it generates a personalized plan based on science from Stanford University. The suggestions, which can take up to eight weeks to fully implement, might surprise you. If you normally go to bed by 9, for instance, "we could recommend that you don't get into bed until two to three hours later," says Britney Blair, who is board certified in behavioral sleep medicine. "If you have trouble falling asleep, we want you to get in bed only when you're good and sleepy. When patients feel their sleep improving, I often get an 'Oh, my God!' response because they can't believe it's actually working." (SleepRate.com, $100)
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Q: I can really exercise any time of day?
A: When insomniacs did 30 minutes of exercise as late as 7 p.m. three times per week, we found that it actually improved their sleep. A separate poll also found that working out within four hours of bedtime won't keep most people up.
Q: So will it cure my insomnia?
A: The subjects in our experiment slept 45 minutes longer and reported having higher-quality sleep. But more research needs to be done to determine how much exercise is needed to maintain those effects.
Q: When can i expect to see results?
A: In about two to four months. We don't know why it takes that long; it could be due to improvements in mood, which take time to have a lasting effect on your sleep patterns.
Exercising before bed will keep you awake, plus more sleep myths
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We tested them! Gadgets that can help you sleep
When you're awake, your brain naturally builds up beta-amyloid (proteins that are a strong biomarker for Alzheimer's disease), but while you sleep, the brain flushes out some of those toxins. According to a recent study, older adults who reported regularly getting adequate rest had fewer beta-amyloid deposits in their brains than those who got less sleep.
A study of more than 30,000 adults found that those who slept for roughly seven hours were far less likely to develop heart disease than those who averaged only five hours. Skimping on sleep may disrupt your hormones and metabolism, and increase blood pressure and inflammation.
Brain scans in healthy adults reveal that a good night's sleep impacts areas of the brain that regulate your desire for high-calorie foods, according to 2013 research in Nature Communications. When presented with food options, study subjects wanted treats containing an average of 600 fewer calories when they were well rested compared with when they were sleepy.
The 7 most convincing reasons to get 7 hours of sleep
Hours of sleep most kids are getting: 9 or more
Hours of sleep they need: 10-11
Hours of sleep most kids are getting: 8
Hours of sleep they need: 9-10
Hours of sleep most kids are getting: 7 or less
Hours of sleep they need: 9-10
Signs your body is too tired to go on (even if you're not)
The 3 kinds of naps everybody needs to know about
Why hitting the snooze button can screw up your entire day
The real reason women can't sleep (and what to do about it)
4 bad habits that sabotage your sleep
—Louise M. O'Brien, PhD, Associate Professor at The University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Center
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The best sleep schedule for people who work nights
A telltale sign of iron deficiency (the number one nutritional deficiency in the world) is fatigue, caused by a lack of red blood cells. If you're anemic, your doctor may suggest dietary changes, like loading up on iron-rich meats and veggies.
When your body is no longer able to effectively convert glucose into energy, you can eventually feel weak and wiped out.
More than 75 percent of people who suffer from this disorder, which causes widespread muscle pain, report having trouble sleeping. Why? According to some brain wave studies, the disease may cut off time spent in stages III and IV of sleep, when the most restorative rest occurs.
Surprising reasons you're still tired
The vitamin D test and 4 more essential blood tests for women