What You Must Know About Sleep

In this article you will learn that:

• A proper amount of sleep is absolutely vital to good physical and emotional health.
• While there may be certain exceptions to the rule, the overwhelming majority of us require at least eight hours sleep each day.
• You can teach yourself to develop sound habits of sleep and overcome any real or imagined obstacles to sleep.

Are you an “owl” or “lark”?

Sir William Osler, teacher and physician, one of history’s greatest observers of human nature, once labeled the sleeping habits of his students as “owl” or “lark.” Some, like owls, worked late and got up late; others, the larks, rose early in the morning and did their best work during the earlier hours of the day. But he also noted that whether they were owls or larks, all needed a definite and minimum amount of sleep in order to perform with maximum efficiency.

Dr. Osler’s observations have never been contradicted either by laboratory researchers, by experienced medical practitioners, or by psychologists.

The relationship between sleep and performance is exactly the same as between sleep and good health. Adequate sleep is vital to good health. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about this fact. I will go one step further: Anyone who does not get an adequate amount of sleep as a routine in his life is gambling his most precious asset-his good health-against great odds.

At Life Extension, where we have examined nearly three million persons since 1914, we can produce a veritable mountain of evidence to demonstrate that those who have gone through life obtaining adequate sleep are invariably the same ones who have led productive, happy, healthy, and long lives!

Sleep is as important as the air we breathe or the food we eat. Without sleep many of us would die within a week from exhaustion. Just as the body must have activity to live, it must also have adequate rest to live at its best. Sleep is the only means by which we can rest our bodies.

But right now, if I must impress you with only one factor as most important to good health practice, I cannot stress too strongly that it is adequate sleep!

What is sleep?

The exact mechanism by which the body produces sleep is not known. About twenty-five centuries ago, the learned Greeks postulated the theory that sleep came to all living creatures as a result of a decreased supply of blood to the brain. Therefore, they believed, sleep could not be thwarted consciously because it was something like the process of fainting, an inevitable response to less blood in the brain.

More current explanations adhere to the following:

1. Sleep results from fatigue produced as waste products are given off by the numerous muscles within the body. When we are active during the day, the constant contractions of our muscles produce certain chemicals which are normally disposed of as waste. But while we are active, our bodies cannot dispose of the waste at a rate sufficient to prevent fatigue.

The body needs to be completely idle for a sufficient length of time to permit the elimination of waste products. After adequate sleep, the body is as good as new and ready for fresh assignments. But, if sleep is insufficient, the result is a feeling of fatigue because the body has not eliminated all the waste.

2, Sleep is also the brain’s automatic reaction to a busy day in which millions upon millions of sensory impulses traveled over an incredibly complex network of nerves to activate the brain.

One noted science writer, John Pfeiffer, author of The Human Brain, likens this activity to a world that “breaks like an unceasing and rhythmical surf on our minds. If we had no relief from this nagging barrage of sensations, we would all be psychotic. Fortunately, things are so designed that relief comes at fairly regular intervals in the form of sleep.”

In short, we might say that while there is no single proven explanation of sleep, it is probably a phenomenon that combines several of the foregoing elements.

Sleep comes in phases.

The use of modern instruments to record patterns of brain waves has enabled researchers to establish that there are certain .phases of sleep. There is no such thing as completely “sound” sleep in which we are totally detached from our senses.

The predormitum period – the first stage of sleep – comes within the first hour or so after we go to bed. It is the phase during which we gradually lose our flow of thoughts and become detached from the world about us. During this phase we may readily awaken at the slightest sound or flash of light.

The next phase carries us into deeper sleep. During a good part of this phase we are dreamless. This state of dreamlessness is the deepest part of sleep, but even then we are never totally detached from our senses. A shaking hand on our shoulder, a light in our eyes, an alarm clock can awaken us. I know many mothers who sleep so well that not even violent thunder can rouse them. But let a baby whimper and they are up in a flash.

The final phase of sleep comes early in the morning around five to six o’clock when sleep tends to lighten and our senses respond more readily to various sounds or other external influences.

There are no sharply defined lines between the various stages of sleep. Some persons slip quickly from the predormitum to the deep, dreamless phase; for others there is a slow transition. Some enter the final, lighter phase of sleep sooner than others. That is why you have heard some people say that unless the alarm goes off after a certain hour they may never hear it. On the other hand, there are those whose sleep phases are so regular that they can awaken every morning at almost the same hour without benefit of an alarm.

As we shall see, an understanding of the mechanism phases of sleep can help us appreciate the importance of sleep and aid those of us who complain of sleep difficulties in overcoming our problems.

Why sleep is important.

Life is made up of exercise and activity, but if life is to continue for an extended time there must also be rest and relaxation. Every job you do requires that certain muscles be tense. It does not matter whether you sit at a desk all day or dig ditches. Some of us tense our muscles more than others. I know many men of good health and physical stamina who do a great deal of driving on the highway. Some can’t go fifty miles without complaining of a stiff back and aching muscles; others can ride for hundreds of miles and not feel a thing. One means of avoiding such aches and pains is to consciously relax. When you do this you can almost feel your muscles let go.

When all is said and done, you must depend upon your night of sleep for real rest and relaxation. For without sleep, you experience fatigue. Fatigue is not an organic disease. It is not a cancer, not a liver ailment, not a malfunctioning kidney, not a bad heart. You can be completely free of organic troubles, yet if you experience fatigue you are robbed of a sense of well-being. You lose your zest, your ability to think straight, your feeling of cheer. You find the hours dragging and your attentiveness to conversation lagging.

All of us have experienced one or more restless nights. Think back to one of those occasions. Remember how you felt the next day? Were you full of pep? Did you make as many sales? Did you operate your machine safely, or did you seem to feel it was your day for accidents? Did you feel life was a joy or bore? Did you have more arguments with your wife, bark more at the kids, scowl more than usual at the driver ahead of you on the ride home? There may have been more than one cause for any of these feelings, but, if you were fatigued as a result of a restless night, you can be sure your number-one enemy was inadequate sleep. Make no mistake about it. Fatigue is bad in every way, but largely because it spoils your sense of well-being.

When we are deprived of sleep.

It has been estimated that the limit of sleeplessness for human is about 240 hours. Recently, as part of a promotional, fund-raising stunt for “The March of Dimes,” a New York radio announcer and disc jockey, Peter Tripp, was kept awake for 200 hours. During this time he was kept under rigid medical observation, and it was noted that, with increasing sleeplessness, he experienced almost every psychological lapse possible. He had painful hallucinations, even to the point where he singled out a man’s suit and cried that it was covered with a jungle of writhing worms.

But this much-publicized experiment is only a small part of a series of experiments into sleeplessness which has been going on for years. At the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, hundreds of volunteers, among them doctors, have been scien­tifically subjected to varying degrees of sleeplessness.

Some have gone as long as 240 consecutive hours without sleep. One of the principal purposes of these experiments is to show the importance of sleep by what happens when we are deprived of it.

These experiments have confirmed the widely held belief that without adequate sleep the entire human body-the mind as well as the vital organs – is subject to the numerous harmful effects of stress. The effects vary according to the individual and with the amount of sleep deprivation. But the effects, nonetheless, are present and are never good. Perhaps the most startling result of these experiments is the increasing evidence that, of all the body’s organs, the brain is least immune to the ill effects of sleeplessness.

As one researcher puts it, “Crudely speaking, a man… is like a motor which, after much use, misfires, runs normally for a while, then falters again, and so on.” These “misfirings” range from brief lapses of memory and attentiveness to severe hallucinations.

After some sixty-five hours of sleeplessness, one human guinea pig was found in a washroom. He was frantically trying to wash away the cobwebs which he said covered his face. Even after he had rested, he insisted that the cobwebs “were there all right.” Of course, they weren’t.

The results of these experiments tend to demonstrate strongly that sleep is essential for the maintenance of emotional stability, if not complete sanity.

A noted medical expert, Dr. Edmund Jacobson, Director of the Chicago Laboratory for Clinical Physiology, has said, “No one ever enjoyed the best of health and zestful living without getting sufficient sleep. Only during sleep do muscles and nervous system get a chance to replenish themselves fully.”

Sleep and longer life.

For years I have been utterly convinced, on the basis of our records at Lile Extension Examiners and the evidence shown by other studies, that if you regularly go without adequate sleep you are reducing your chances for normal longevity. I believe that the effects of sleeplessness are cumulative and that the damage to your health is permanent and irreversible. It is perhaps no accident that so many family doctors do not live out their normal life spans. So many of them go week after week on far less sleep than men in other walks of life.

A report of a most interesting experiment has come to us from the Soviet Union. The experiment began at the Ministry of Health’s Experimental Sleep Laboratory of the Psychiatric Institute in 1951, when a dog of the Bolognese breed arrived at the laboratory. The dog was then in its fifteenth year of age which for that breed is considered equal to the last year of a man’s life. The dog was reportedly afflicted by “complete senility.” His fur was almost completely gone. His responses were sluggish and, while he moved weakly toward food, he quickly collapsed from fatigue.

For the next ninety days, the dog was subjected to “prolonged sleep.” Thereafter, almost immediate improvement was noted. A good deal of his fur returned, his mental coordination improved vastly, and he was generally much stronger. According to a later report in Nauka i Zhizn (Science and Life) magazine, the dog lived an additional six and one-half years, far beyond his normal life span. As a matter of fact, the Bolognese hound, who died in the summer of 1957, did not even perish naturally. He was killed by a chimpanzee, said Prof. S. N. Braines, who wrote up the experiment.

This experiment may well lead to substantiation of the belief that adequate sleep has a rejuvenating effect on the body and mind. It may eventually be proven that adequate sleep is about as close as man will get to the proverbial Fountain of Youth.

There is also good reason to believe that the stresses caused by inadequate sleep make our bodies more vulnerable to disease and thereby reduce normal life span. A disease to which you are ordinarily immune may well make you one of its victims if it strikes after prolonged periods of inadequate sleep. As Dr. Jacobson has said:

“The effects of inadequate sleep are hard to measure: a little less zeal and ambition, an extra cold, or perhaps a more serious disease which might have passed you by… ”

Sleep and your emotional health.

We have seen how the effects of sleeplessness can induce frightening hallucinations. We know, too, that fatigue results from inadequate sleep and interferes with our normal emotional responses. But sleep is even more intimately linked with our emotional well-being. Adequate sleep enables us to better meet the challenge of our daily stresses.

We know, for instance, that anxiety is one of the emotional stresses most of us face quite frequently. Stripped of professional jargon, anxiety is an experience of fear or apprehension that can be traced to no apparent cause. I remember a reasonably healthy businessman in his forties who complained of increasing anxieties. He said, “My worries are unfounded, but I can’t help feeling tense and anxious.”
“Maybe I’m getting on in age,” he said flippantly. “Do you think I ought to go see a psychiatrist?”
“How much sleep are you getting?” I asked. “Very little,” he said.
“How much?”
“Maybe five, six hours a night. Sometimes less. But I really don’t need any more. I’ve always been able to manage on very little sleep.”

When I advised him to get more sleep, he balked, saying that he couldn’t sleep more if he wanted to. A hacking cough made his sleep fitful. His cough was obviously due to cigarette smoking three packs a day! He agreed to reduce his smoking to less than a pack a day and then try to get more sleep.

He tells me now that he has never felt better in his life. His cough is gone, he sleeps soundly for more than eight hours every night, gets more work done, and laughs at the recollection that he had seriously thought of obtaining psychiatric aid.

“For a phenomenon that is such a vital part of the daily life of each of us, we ordinarily give far too little thought to sleep – at least until something interferes with it,” says Dr. Henry P. Laughlin, a well-known professor of psychiatric medicine and author of the standard text, The Neuroses in Clinical Practice.

In a special report on “The Role of Sleep in Emotional Health,” written for general medical practitioners, Dr. Laughlin said, “Were it not for this benefit of sleep, the cumulative effects [emphasis mine] of even the usual stresses and strains of our daily life could be overwhelming.”

He points out what I have frequently observed in practice. “Sleep serves (1) as a respite from emotional tension, ( 2) as a recovery period from the immediately preceding stresses of anxiety and emotional conflict, and ( 3) as a means of refurbishing our psycho logic armamentarium for the coming day.”

It is the combined effects of these three sleep benefits that have kept my “anxious” businessman patient, and many others like him, from frequent and perhaps fruitless trips to the analyst’s couch.

Sleep and high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is one of the most talked-about problems of our time. We have no magic medication or sure cure for high blood pressure. But we do know that the most important routine for a victim of high blood pressure is to obtain adequate sleep and that the amount of sleep cannot be too much! Substantial amounts of sleep, we know, can help the high blood pressure patient to live a full and useful life.

How much sleep do you need?

On January 3, 1947, a ninety-four-year-old man, Albert E. Herpin, was taken to the Mercer Hospital in Trenton, New Jersey, where he died as “the sleepless wonder.” Considerable circulation was given to the story that Herpin had taken “to his grave a mystery that had baffled the medical and scientific world for nearly fifty years.” Herpin was the man who “had never slept a wink” during most of his adult life. Physicians who had kept him under constant twenty-four-hour watch, it was said, never caught him napping, and they gave up trying to find an explanation.

There is no reason to doubt the story of “the sleepless wonder.” Medical records contain numerous examples of varied human phenomena, and the Herpin case is one of them. But unfortunately, stories like this, perhaps not as extreme, take on the appearance of the exception that proves the rule-in this case the rule being that sleep is a matter of individual need and that there is no such thing as a minimum requirement of sleep. Don’t you believe it!

There are some slight variations in the total amount of sleep each of us should have every day. But the great majority – perhaps nine out of ten – should get no less than eight hours sleep a night. I have put this down as the irreducible minimum for nearly all my patients. In many instances, I prescribe no less than nine or ten hours sleep.

Certainly, I know many persons, particularly active businessmen and professionals carrying added burdens of civic responsibilities in their respective communities, who have gone along for years on no more than four, five, or six hours sleep each night. A very few of them, perhaps, do not and will not suffer adverse mental or physical effects. But I wouldn’t gamble on it. Often we don’t know how they are getting along until it is too late.

I want to repeat emphatically my belief, based on painstaking observations and records, that most of those who do not get eight hours sleep regularly are definitely reducing their full life expectancy.

There are a great many of us who think we are exceptional; we can buck the laws of nature and get away with it. This is especially true of younger, more energetic men, the kind who want to race to the top and won’t pause to look at the wreckage they are leaving behind.

A forty-year-old writer I know has worked unbelievably hard to make good. Born in the slums of New York’s lower East Side, he could riot work his way through college for a long time because his family was so impoverished that every penny was needed for bread and rent. At last, at the age of twenty-two, when it seemed as if he could earn enough to help the family and pay for college, he was called off to war. After four years in the Navy, he came out determined to make up for lost time. For the next dozen years or so, he combined a full-time job and a full-time education curriculum, with free-lance writing “in between.” The “in between” was usually from midnight to four or five in the morning, seven days a week. Year after year he seldom obtained more than three to four hours sleep each night. His energy astounded his friends, his professors, and his wife-who sometimes wondered whether she had a husband at all.

The writer, in the sense that he has always been able to live exclusively and comfortably off his productivity, has made good. But only recently has he come to recognize the terrible price he has paid. His energy has dropped off greatly, and his general health shows evidence of deteriorating far more rapidly than it should for a man his age. He used to boast that be had never been sick a day in his life and could go bare-chested in the winter; now he gets so many colds that he thinks he’s a victim of virological conspiracy.

Lately, he has begun to get more sleep and has felt almost immediate benefits in improved “thinkability.” He can do more work in less time and with less strain, he tells me. His sense of well-being has also increased enormously. My hope is that he has changed his ways in time. Usually, it is difficult to undo the previous damage caused by a steady amount of inadequate sleep.
But it is never too late to change.
If you happen to be one of those who thinks he can get along on less than eight hours sleep each night, I strongly urge you to talk it over with your doctor.

Break up sleep? It’s acceptable.

We often hear of the “Edisons” of life, the men who live enormously productive lives well into the seventies and eighties and never get more than four or five hours sleep each night during most of their years. This was a reputation that had clung to Thomas A. Edison, whose inventions are legion. Yet it has been my experience that many of these reputations are unwarranted or at least are only partially true. Edison, for instance, was said never to have slept more than four hours a night. But we know he took frequent and prolonged naps during the day.

When Sir Winston Churchill, at the age of eighty-four, announced that he was going to take a jet flight across the ocean to visit America for a few days, a newspaper columnist, Hy Gardner, wondered why a remarkable old man like Sir Winston had so much energy. He investigated and came to the conclusion that it was “the daytime nap.” Winston Churchill was another “Edison,” staying up most of the night but napping during the day.

Hy Gardner then made a personal survey into the sleep habits of a number of other notable personalities with “Edison” reputations, among them Jimmy Durante, Sam Goldwyn, Bing Crosby, Gen. David Sarnoff, Groucho Marx, Maurice Chevalier, Jack Dempsey, and Eddie Cantor. To a man, these “Edisons” disclosed that they regularly took daytime “snoozes.”

Eddie Cantor said he slept “every single day from 4 to 6 P.M.” He also said that unless he could sleep for at least one hour before dinner, he would put off dinner until a later hour when he could take his nap.

There are some, like those in the entertainment world, who :find it difficult to get adequate sleep in the font of a consecutive, uninterrupted number of hours. When I say that eight hours a day is the irreducible minimum required for most of us, I am referring to the total twenty-four hour cycle. I think it is quite acceptable to sleep, let’s say, six hours at night and two hours during the day if there is no alternative. But when there is an alternative, ‘or when you happen to lead a busy life during the day, then I would recommend that every effort be made to acquire the minimum amount of sleep at one time.

Yes, the quality of sleep means a great deal.

A widespread misconception is that an hour’s sleep before midnight is worth two after midnight. Another myth is that four of five hours of sound sleep are equal to eight or ten hours of restless slumber. There is no substitute for the total number of hours of sleep required. However, a sound, minimum eight-hour sleep is certainly better than an eight-hour sleep that is not quite as sound.

An average sleeper, research shows, may turn in his sleep from twenty to sixty times a night. Less turning usually indicates more restful, sounder slumber. Movement tenses muscles and interferes with the waste-removing, refurbishing effects of sleep. But the mere act of lying stretched out in bed, even when you are not actually sleeping soundly, is restful. That’s why a cat nap in a chair cannot be as restful as horizontal sleep. Chair sleep is at best usually very “light” sleep.

How to fight obstacles to sleep.

I told you about my patient who cut down on his smoking to eliminate the cough that interfered with his sleep. Unfortunately, the solution to our sleep problems is not always that simple.

So many of us believe that we are victims of insomnia; we can’t sleep even when we desperately want to. Now that we have seen something of the mechanism of sleep, we know that there normally is no such person as a true “insomniac.” Prolonged though the effort may be, sooner or later the “insomniac” is going to fall asleep, like “fainting.”

Inability to go to sleep or to remain asleep is seldom caused by organic disease. The real enemies of sleep are excessive fatigue, worry, tension, and false personal attitudes toward sleep. To experience sound sleep and to fall asleep with a minimum of difficulty, you must approach retirement with a completely relaxed mind, putting your mental disturbances aside.

The advice given by Sir William Osler was to “undress your soul at night by shedding, as you do your garments, the daily sins, whether of omission or of commission.”

Specifically, here are a number of suggestions which have been found useful for difficult sleepers:

1. Try to keep your hours of sleep as regular as possible. Don’t be afraid to experiment for awhile to see which hours suit you best. You’ll know which hours are right for you as soon as you start getting up each morning feeling refreshed and full of zest and can go through the day with little or no fatigue.

2. Sleep in a dark and quiet room. This is the best setting for relaxing the mind and body. Quite a number of gadgets have been developed to help shut out light and sound. These may be employed for a few nights, but they should not be relied upon. I have known several cases in which desperate “insomniacs” pushed earplugs so far into their ears that removal by forceps was necessary.

3. Make every effort to relax your body physically. Do a little moderate exercise before going to bed. A brief walk in the fresh air just before retiring may do the trick. Also helpful is a warm bath for about fifteen to twenty minutes. The temperature of the water should be pleasantly warm, not hot. The surest way not to sleep is to try consciously to force yourself to sleep. Such an attempt is usually combined with the fear that sleep will be a long time in coming.

Sleep is largely a matter of habit. You can’t turn it on and off at will and expect to acquire the benefits of prompt, sound sleep. If you make going to bed a fairly fixed, but relaxed, routine, you are certainly apt to have less and less trouble falling soundly asleep.

Perhaps the principal obstacles to sleep are psychological in nature. Often we worry about so many of the things that may interfere with our sleep that it becomes impossible to sleep soundly.

I am reminded of the classical, perhaps apocryphal, story concerning Mark Twain. It seems that Mark Twain, while trying to fall asleep at a friend’s home, felt that his room was too stuffy for proper sleep. Getting up to open the only window in the bedroom, he found the window impossible to open. The famed humorist went back to bed in a fit of rage, absolutely convinced that be would never fall asleep in the stagnant air of the room.

At last, out of sheer desperation, he reached to the floor for his shoe and threw it at the window. The tinkling sound of breaking glass fell upon his ears like music, and finally he could feel the fresh air that was to bring precious sleep. He quickly fell into a deep, all­night slumber. Next morning, Mark Twain made a demoralizing discovery. His aim was off! The shoe had broken the glass in a nearby bookcase. The window was still sealed!

4. A void excessive stimulation later in the day. Stay away from competitive sports late in the afternoon. Don’t go to a night baseball game unless you can be sure of remaining placid. Don’t get into night-time arguments. If you’re doing concentrated mental work, put it away at least an hour before retiring, especially if it is related to your occupation. Then read something entirely unrelated to your work – anything that doesn’t call for concentrated thinking. It is no coincidence that so many of our greatest intellectuals are also fans of detective and western fiction, especially when reading in bed. It helps them relax mentally. By the way, reading in bed is fine, but try to have a lamp nearby so that you won’t have to hop out of bed to switch it off.

5. If you must have a drink before bed, stick to warm milk. It has a relaxing effect. Tea and coffee contain caffeine which tends to stimulate.

6. Try to prepare for retirement by slowing down at least an hour before getting into bed.Start turning your thoughts to the more pleasant memories of the day or to the pleasant events ahead. Don’t make a mental review of your problems.

Dr. Dean Foster, consultant to the Sleep Research Foundation, once wrote, “Going to sleep is like stopping a car at an intersection. A driver who sees a traffic light change a block away is better off slowing down gradually and coasting to a stop, rather than coming to a sudden brake-slamming halt. Taper off your day’s activities before getting ready for bed.”

7. Don’t count sheep. This “trick” is too closely linked with worry over sleep. Like muscular effort, mental activity while lying in bed can interfere with sleep, especially if it is so closely associated with your anxiety over sleep. Just relax!

8. Finally, remember that lying quietly in bed for several hours, even though sleep does not come, is better than getting up and fussing around. Be consoled by the fact that a quiet, horizontal body is a body at rest. You will find that the more you lie quietly in bed, the more you will learn to relax; each night you will fall asleep sooner than you think.

Don’t worry about getting your minimum hours of. sleep. As Dr. Wingate M. Johnson, emeritus professor of medicine at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine in North Carolina puts it, “People… who worry too much about getting exactly eight hours of sleep… often sleep more than they realize. Many a nurse has watched a patient sleep soundly a good part of the night, only to be told by the patient the next morning he ‘didn’t sleep a wink.’ The best advice I can offer to victims of insomnia is this: Don’t worry about it – for worry can murder sleep as effectively as a dripping faucet.”

Sleeping pills if necessary, but only as a “crutch.”

Most sedatives are comparatively harmless. If any are taken, however, it should be under the guidance or your physician. Sleeping pills may be used to advantage, but only if the use is like that of a crutch to help you limp on a sprained ankle until the ankle is strong enough to support your weight. Repeated use of sleeping pills may cause you to develop a tolerance for the medication, and then it won’t do you any good unless the dose is greatly increased. Often we may use sedatives during an emergency situation, to help hysterical or grief-stricken persons obtain the blessings of sleep.

However, when sedatives have been found essential toward helping people acquire normal habits of sleep, I have used this routine with considerable success:

1. Take the pill three nights in succession.

2. On the fourth night, put the pill on a nearby table and try to forget it’s there. If sleep does not come after a reasonable time, perhaps an hour or so, then take the pill.

3. Repeat step two every night until you find that you have fallen asleep without the pill. This will happen a lot sooner than you think. After that you can be reasonably sure of prompt, restful slumber every night.

One final word. If none of the advice in this article works for you, it’s time to have a nice long chat with your doctor.

What to Remember About Adequate Sleep

1. The amount of sleep you get has a direct bearing on your health.

2. You must receive on adequate amount of sleep regularly and routinely in order to maintain a sense of well-being, good health, and maximum life span.

3. The irreducible minimum amount of sleep for most of us is eight hours out of the twenty-four-hour cycle.

4. There is no substitute for good sound sleep in a bed. Don’t count napping in a choir as part of your eight-hour minimum.

5. The principal obstacles to sleep are psychological in, nature. Learn to relax before you go to bed and after you get into bed.

6. Do not use artificial sleep aids, particularly sleeping pills, for a long period of time. If you must hove the assistance of sleeping pills, be sure to consult your doctor first.

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