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Numbers that add up to a sound sleep

For years we've been told that eight hours of sleep is the key to a good night's rest - but new research has discovered that's actually too much.

According to a study by Cambridge University in the UK and Fudan University in China, seven hours of shut-eye is the optimal amount. This boosts mood, memory, and attention span.

Check what else adds up to a good night's rest.

20 minutes of daylight

Exposure to daylight kickstarts our body's processes and gives us a natural feeling of sleepiness around 14 hours later.

Try having your breakfast outside, or sitting near a window to maximize the amount of natural light you get a first thing. If you can, take a short walk outside first thing in the morning.

30 gms of fiber

Eating the right amount of fiber can improve sleep quality and even increase the time we spend in deep sleep stages, which is crucial to feeling rested and refreshed.

Eating 30 gms of fiber each day, from high-fiber breakfast cereal, oats, wholegrains, pulses, fresh fruit, and vegetables is recommended.

6 minutes of reading

A University of Sussex study showed it can take just six minutes of reading at bedtime to significantly relax you and lower stress levels by 68 percent.

18 degrees room temperature

The optimal temperature for a bedroom is just 18 degrees Celsius. Our bodies are programmed to decrease slightly in temperature in the evening, so having a cool room is essential for quality sleep.

Opt for lightweight breathable fabrics for your pajamas and bedding too.

10 deep breaths

Taking yoga breaths before bed balances your nervous system. The breath lowers heart rate, dissolves tension in the body, and allows the brain to change from 'tension and stress' to 'rest and sleep' mode.

10 minutes of calming sounds

Sounds such as rain, waves, and rustling trees are soothing. This is because these sounds are a certain pitch and our brain perceives them as non-threatening.

Try listening to nature sounds for 10 minutes before you get to sleep or search online for a Vedic chant.

How long should a power nap be?

Naps are good for us. We all know they make us feel re-energized. They can also help us focus, boost our memory, de-stress and be more composed. But how long should you nap for?

To get the most benefit, it's best to keep a nap quite short, around 15 to 20 minutes, and not longer than an hour. It's also important that your nap is no later than mid-afternoon.

If you sleep for longer or later, it can interfere with your sleep pattern when you go to bed at night. Also bear in mind that naps won't help you make up for lost sleep.


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