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Can sleeping smarter offset not sleeping enough?

Not getting enough sleep? Experts suggest sleeping smarter next time
Not getting enough sleep? Experts suggest sleeping smarter next time
CarbonNYC via Flickr / Creative Commons

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Are you worried that you’re not sleeping enough? Or are you not sleeping enough because you’re worried? Regardless of causality Americans aren’t getting enough sleep; a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly a third of all working adults get six hours or less of sleep per night.

Sleep deprivation can lead to a number of health problems and declines in things like productivity and sex drive and an increase in accidents, memory loss and weight gain. Sleep experts say there is only one cure: we need to sleep more, and sleep smarter. Remedies for getting more rest include things like nabbing 24 minute naps at work and sleeping with the shades open so you can wake up to natural light.

Other solutions to sleeping better suggest shutting down electronic devices at bedtime. Anything from a pulsing sleep light on your laptop to an e-mail notification on your cell phone on your nightstand can disrupt sleep patterns and lead to missing precious minutes of slumber.

How could you change your habits to allow for more and better sleep? What does a lack of sleep mean in your life?


David K. Randall, senior reporter, Reuters; author of Dreamland: Adventures in the strange science of sleep