How to Sleep Better

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Sleeping is just as important as eating and exercise. To be healthy and happy, you need to sleep, eat and exercise right. Here are some tips to help you sleep better.

How much sleep do I need?

If you're 7 to 12 years old, you should be sleeping 10 to 11 hours a night. If you're 12 to 18, you should be sleeping 8.25 to 9.5 hours a night, after that around 8 hours is good.

Wear something comfortable to bed

Change into something comfortable before going to bed. The simple act of changing into different clothes like pajamas should help your body prepare for sleep (kind of like wearing gym clothes before a work out). Try loose fitting pajamas, long sleeves for warmth in the winter and short sleeves in the summer.

Don't do your homework in bed

Your bed is all about sleep. If you start doing your homework, watching TV, playing video games or other activities while in bed, it'll be harder for you to associate your bed with sleep when you need to.

Use an alarm clock and keep a regular bedtime schedule

Set the alarm and forget about it. Try getting up and going to bed at the same times as much as possible including on weekends.

2 hours before going to bed

Avoid drinking 2 hours before going to bed. This will help you avoid waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Big meals should also be avoided 2 hours before bed.

1 hour before going to bed

If you are hungry before going to bed, make sure you eat a small snack like fruit. Take it easy, do a bit of personal reading (not homework) and go to bed when it's your bedtime. Avoid alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and too much caffeine.

Caffeine as in coffee, tea or caffeinated soda like soda pop can cause sleep problems up to 12 hours after drinking them. Alcohol, drugs and cigarettes also disrupt the quality of your sleep.

How to change your wake up time

If you're trying to change your wake up time, start in 15 minute increments. For example, say you currently go to bed at 11 pm and wake up at 8 am but need to wake up one hour earlier, try the following: go to bed at 11 pm tonight, wake up at 7:45 am tomorrow, then go to bed at 10:45 pm, then wake up the following day at 7:30 am, and so on until you are going to bed at 10 pm and waking up at 7 am.
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