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DID YOU KNOW?



Published: Mon, July 30, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



DID YOU KNOW?

Biologically speaking, women are sounder sleepers than men. Even as they age, women have the deepest, most restorative level of sleep. On the downside, though, women's total sleep time decreases as they enter their 40s and 50s.

More than half of the people ages 18-24 hit the snooze button at least once every morning. On the other hand, 80 percent of people over 50 say they don't hit snooze, and 86 percent say they have no difficulty waking up in the morning.

People wake up more often than they realize. Typically, a person will wake between 10 and 12 times an hour for two or three seconds at a time and another four or five times a night for at least 15 seconds.

Women are up to four times more likely than men to say that their partner's snoring bothers them.

Falling asleep within five minutes of going to bed is usually an indication of sleep deprivation for most people.

When you can't fall asleep, the best thing to do is stay in bed, relax mentally and get comfortable. Keep the environment advantageous for resting, and sleep will likely follow.

More than 50 percent of people believe they have gotten their best sleep during childhood.

Nearly four times as many women than men pray when unable to sleep.

One out of five men ages 18-34 report taking more than an hour to fall asleep. One possible reason is that biologically, younger men may be inclined to stay up longer but force themselves to go to bed at an earlier time.

More than 30 percent of men ages 18-34 admit to falling asleep on the job -- a figure almost twice the response of Americans in general.

SUGGESTIONS

The Four Rs of Sleep:

Regularize your sleep patterns by getting up at the same time every day and sleeping the same amount each night. Avoid naps unless they are regular. Find the perfect amount of sleep time for you and stick with it.

Ritualize cues for good sleep. Use the bedroom only for sleep and sex. Keep the environment quiet, dark and cool at bedtime, and go to bed only when you're sleepy.

Relax. Find ways to reduce stress and control tension.

Resist behaviors that interfere with sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, strenuous exercise within three hours of bedtime and heavy meals before bed.

Sleep expert Joyce Walsleben's additional suggestions to beat summer snooze blues:

Eat lighter meals more frequently.

Drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated.

Take cool baths or showers to lower body temperature.

Wear light clothing.

Wear an eye mask to block sunlight.

Place a cool washcloth on joints, such as elbows, back of knees and neck.

Sources: "A Woman's Guide to Sleep" by Joyce Walsleben, Ph.D., and Rita Baron-Faust; Serta Inc. "Falling Asleep: What Makes a Difference?" report




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