How to maintain a regular sleep schedule

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A new study has revealed that irregular sleep/wake patterns were related to reduced physical activity, increased daytime sleep and sleepiness, and reduced light exposure. The study by Duke Health and the Duke Clinical Research Institute also shows ‘significant relationships between sleep irregularity and indices of cardiometabolic risk, including obesity and higher levels of fasting blood glucose.’ The shocking findings of the study also reveal that sleep irregularity was associated with higher projected risk of developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease over the next decade, and individuals with hypertension and/or metabolic disease displayed higher sleep irregularity than those without. Greater sleep irregularity was further correlated with increased depression severity and perceived stress, aspects of psychiatric health known to have bidirectional relationships with cardiometabolic disease. The researchers also observed that greater sleep irregularity was linked to prevalent congestive heart failure, prevalent coronary heart disease, and documented deep vein thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism. It is but obvious, that it is absolutely necessary to maintain a regular sleep schedule to ward off diseases and be healthy. Here are some tips you must follow:

1) If you need to get up at, say, 7 am every day, count back eight hours (i.e. 11 pm) and make sure you are on bed latest by 10.30 pm. Your body can take about 15 minutes to settle down and sleep.

2) Make sure you eat at least 2 hours before dinner time. This will give time for your food to digest and prevent acidity, bloating and other indigestion problems.

3) Do not check your mobile phone or watch TV before bed. The blue light emitted from such electronic screens is known to mess up with sleep.

4) Ensure that your bedroom is dark and that the curtains are drawn so that there are no lights coming inside.

5) According to various studies, a temperature of 24 degrees is apt for the body to fall asleep. Try to maintain this temperature in your room if you have an AC.