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Do You Suffer from Sleep Debt?

woman with insomniaWith stress and uncertainty running rampant these days, we understand better than most that it’s affecting everyone’s quality of life in some way. For a lot of people, this can mean not getting enough good sleep.

But did you know that if you get a few poor nights of sleep in a row, it takes more than just one good night of sleep to make up for it?

That’s where ‘sleep debt’ comes in.

Think of your sleep hours as a bank. If you need 8 hours of sleep each night to feel good and rested, but have a few nights each week where you’re only getting 5 hours of sleep, you’re in a ‘sleep debt’ of several hours.

So, what can you do to improve your sleep debt? Give these tips a try for a better night’s rest.

  • Avoid taking naps during the day. Naps don’t offer our bodies the best time for rejuvenation like we get with actual sleep. While they feel nice, if you have trouble sleeping at night, you’ll want to skip them during the day to set yourself up for success.
  • Don’t eat after dinner. Some studies indicate that eating meals or simply snacking too close to bed time can cause us to toss and turn and wake up more than usual. Instead of snacking before bed, redirect your urge to a different activity, like walking or reading.
  • Keep a sleep schedule. This means going to bed at the same time each night and awakening at the same time each morning. This will help your body get into a routine, and eventually, sleep easier and more soundly.
  • Add more exercise into your day. People who work out regularly often sleep better! It doesn’t mean that you need to suddenly begin an intense routine-if you’re not too active currently, start by adding a brisk 30-minute walk to your day and build momentum from there.

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