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Your Healthy Family: Two things to avoid to get a good night sleep

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

The good news, is that changing the clocks ‘back’ in November means one more hour of sleep, as opposed to the one hour ‘less’ in the spring.

Make sleep a priority

According to Charles Bae, M.D., a sleep expert at Cleveland Clinic, fewer people experience sleep issues when they gain an hour of sleep, but it’s a good time to check in on our personal sleep habits.

“It’s more of a reminder to make sure that you’re not sleep deprived and making sure that you get enough sleep,” said Dr. Bae. “So this might be a good chance to kind of catch up on sleep, but then also make sure that you make sleep a priority.” 

Risks of sleep deprivation

Most folks know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, but research has shown that few actually get the seven to nine hours of recommended shut-eye.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, many of us suffer from ‘sleep debt,’ meaning that we owe our body rest.

Dr. Bae said that most people say they can get by on six hours, but really should be getting seven to eight hours per night.

In addition to getting to bed at a reasonable hour, it’s important to limit exposure to stimulants such as caffeine, energy drinks, and lights from electronic devices, which can interfere with a person’s circadian rhythm or natural sleep-wake cycle.

Dr. Bae said that sleep deprivation increases a person’s likelihood for decreased alertness, especially while driving, a decline in memory and cognitive function, as well as an increased risk for a number of health risks.

“It’s linked to increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, also there’s connections to increased risk of heart attack and stroke and that’s all from not getting enough sleep,” said Dr. Bae.

Don’t overdo it

Dr. Bae said that while it’s good to get in that extra hour, be sure not to overdo it, as sleeping in too late on the weekend can wreak havoc on the body’s sleep-wake cycle and will just make it more difficult to get up and go to work on Monday.

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