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Girl bed

This morning I was awakened at 4:30 by an elderly dog with a bladder problem. As I write this, I know that my energy will evaporate by mid-afternoon and my ability to write coherently will cease.
I’ve read about research that indicates getting too little sleep causes cognitive and health declines as well as weight gain. (Thank God wine and chocolate have nothing to do with it…)
I also remember my mother insisting that I needed 8 hours of sleep every night. But doctors have learned that sleep needs vary between individuals. According to recent studies people sleep 6 hours, 31 minutes on weekdays and 7 hours, 22 minutes on weekends.
However, a scientist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine says getting just 20 or 30 minutes less than the minimum recommendation of seven hours can slow cognitive speed and increase attention lapses. Huh?
How much sleep do YOU need?
It’s kind of easy to figure it out.
Experts say we can figure out our optimal amount of sleep in a trial of three days or a week – ideally while on vacation. Don’t use an alarm clock. Go to sleep when you get tired. Avoid too much caffeine or alcohol. And stay off electronic devices for a couple of hours before going to bed. During the trial, track your sleep with a diary or a device that records your actual sleep time. If you feel refreshed and awake during the day, you’ve probably discovered your optimal sleep time.
Congratulations – now I’m going back to bed.

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