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Fact or fiction: your sleep environment

Fact or fiction: Darkness is the key to sound sleep.
A bit of both!
On the one hand, your body waits for darkness, when the retina of your eye sends a signal to the brain to release the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. On the other hand, enough exposure to early-morning light can help to regulate your body's internal clock and, in turn, help you to fall asleep more easily. Miss out on morning light by sleeping later and later, and your body's clock will have you falling asleep later and later at night, too. Essentially, to get good sleep, your body needs the cycle of light and darkness. Keep your clock well timed by getting some direct exposure to sunlight between the hours of about 6 and 8:30 am.

Fact or fiction: The glowing LEDs from computers, cell phones, and alarm clocks can keep some people awake at night.
Fact!
Combine low, night-time light and the blue LED lights that shine out from many modern electronic devices and disrupted sleep can result for some people whose eyes are especially sensitive to light on the blue end of the colour spectrum.

Fact or fiction: The recommended sleep position is on your back.
Fact!
Sleeping on your back keeps a neutral position. You can also place a pillow under the knees to keep the normal curve of the spine. This position can also prevent acid reflux during the night. However, if you have sleep apnea, which is a sleep disorder involving difficulty breathing, it is better to sleep on your side with legs slightly bent towards your chest. This position helps to support your spine and pelvis. If you have a bad back, you can place a pillow between the legs. Be very careful if you prefer to sleep on your stomach. Sleep specialists do not recommend this position, as it can cause lower back and neck strain and pain.

Fact or fiction: Getting warm and cozy is the best way to fall asleep.
Fiction!
A snuggly comforter and soft flannel sheets sure sound snooze-worthy, but your body prefers to fall asleep when it's on the cooler side. A cooler room climate more closely matches the drop in body temperature that happens when we sleep. Temperature preferences will vary from one person to another, but most sleep thermostats like to be set between 15.6 and 19.4 degrees Celsius (60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit).

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2019. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Sleep-Facts-and-Fiction

All material © 1996-2019 MediResource Inc. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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