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What is your sleep pattern?

Early Bird or Night Owl: Which has Better Health?

Sandy Braz

Sandy Braz

Live better:

Fitness and lifestyle writer, blogger and editor

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Early to bed, early to rise—does it really make you healthy, wealthy and wise? A recent study debunks the myth.

We’ve been taught that early risers earn the advantage, but a report on Health.com (based on a 2009 study in Science journal) says it isn’t necessarily so. Early risers tend to grow tired sooner and hit the hay up to four hours earlier compared to those burning the midnight oil. But that doesn’t mean you should change your sleep schedule any time soon—sleep patterns can impact your health, so stick to a schedule that works for you.

But what’s the “right amount of sleep”? Mayo Clinic experts say we all have our own internal clock and can function on varied amounts of sleep—while one person may need eight hours to function optimally, another may need only five or six. The key to better sleep and better health is to listen to your internal clock and stick to a schedule.

Here are 10 tips for sensational sleep:

  1. Go to bed and get up at about the same time every day, even on the weekends.
  2. Don’t eat or drink large amounts before bedtime.
  3. Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol in the evening.
  4. Exercise regularly.
  5. Make your bedroom cool, dark, quiet and comfortable.
  6. Sleep primarily at night.
  7. Choose a comfortable mattress and pillow.
  8. Start a relaxing bedtime routine.
  9. Go to bed when you’re tired and turn out the lights.
  10. Use sleep aids only as a last resort.

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