Improving medical students

Optimize Sleep Value

Posted by medliorator on January 19, 2008

Quality not quantity. if you’re not tired…, your sleep time will be worthless.

the length of sleep is not what causes us to be refreshed upon waking. The key factor is the number of complete sleep cycles we enjoy. it suffices to say that one sleep cycle lasts an average of 90 minutes. If we were to sleep completely naturally…, we would wake up… after a multiple of 90 minutes(4.5 hours, 6 hours, 7.5 hours, or 9 hours), but not after 7 or 8 hours

A person who sleeps only four cycles (6 hours) will feel more rested than someone who has slept for 8 to 10 hours but who has not been allowed to complete any one cycle….

psychiatry professor Daniel Kripke of the University of California, San Diego [offers recommendations] for obtaining optimum sleep value:

  • Do not take sleeping pills. This includes over-the-counter pills and melatonin
  • Don’t go to bed until you’re sleepy. If you have trouble sleeping, try going to bed later or getting up earlier
  • Get up at the same time every morning, even after a bad night’s sleep. The next night, you’ll be sleepy at bedtime
  • If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back to sleep, get out of bed and return only when you are sleepy.
  • Avoid worrying, watching TV, reading scary books, and doing other things in bed besides sleeping and sex. If you worry, read thrillers or watch TV, do that in a chair that’s not in the bedroom.
  • Do not drink or eat anything caffeinated within six hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol. It’s relaxing at first but can lead to insomnia when it clears your system.
  • Spend time outdoors. People exposed to daylight or bright light therapy sleep better.

Cheat on the Need to Sleep [Wired HowTo]


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