The best way to make sure your sleep is at its best is to practice regular sleep, a new study suggests.
Sleep experts say it is important to practice the sleep routine every day, and for most people, it is not difficult to do.
“Sleep quality is not a given,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Christopher P. K. Dickey, a sleep researcher at the University of New Mexico.
“It is important that you get your sleep right.”
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Kneeling in a chair can help, too, the researchers found.
The average person has more than six hours of sleep each night, which is about four to six hours more than most people get during a typical day.
A good rule of thumb is to spend at least five to six of those hours in bed, Kneesk said.
“The more hours in your bed, the more comfortable you feel,” he said.
People with insomnia and sleep apnea who sleep in their bed for the night also tend to get less sleep than those who sleep on their couch, Knee said.
When it comes to bedtime, however, it doesn’t have to be the same as waking up.
It can be just as important as waking, Kjelle Kneese, a research psychologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Oslo, said in an interview.
Sleep helps us keep our bodies and minds functioning well, she said.
For example, if we sleep in our sleep, we have less oxygen in the blood, which in turn helps us stay awake longer.
It also keeps us alert, helps us avoid negative emotions and promotes good memory.
In addition, the longer we sleep, the stronger our immune system gets.
“We have been sleeping for so long, and we are not going to get back to sleep,” Knee added.
The researchers also studied people who had been in the study and were asked to keep a diary about their sleep.
After six months, the study participants were asked about their overall health and sleep.
For the majority, sleep improved after six months.
“If you are looking at sleep as an important part of your overall health, then it is really good to start planning,” Kneask said in a phone interview.
He added that most people who start the new routine with regularity are happy with their sleep and feel it improves their overall quality of life.
However, some people who did not follow the sleep guidelines, or who did poorly at following them, may have a bad reaction, he said, such as anxiety, depression or feelings of guilt.
The research has been published online in the Journal of Sleep Medicine.
Knee is a member of the National Institutes of Health Sleep Research Center and is the co-author of Sleep and Sleep Disorders in Young Adults.
The University of Minnesota Health System funded the research.
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