With beeping smartphones, crying babies and the distractions of work and relationship issues, getting a “good night’s sleep” is a tall order these days. Although deep sleep—also known as slow-wave sleep and essential for physical restoration—and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep—a lighter type of sleep that restores the mind—are both important, a helpful strategy would be to focus on “solid, unbroken sleep,” says J. Todd Arnedt, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the University of Michigan.
Your goal should be three or more nights per week of unbroken sleep, he says. Anything less, consult your doctor. “There are safe and effective medication and non-medication treatments available to help,” Arnedt says.
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