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The do's and don'ts of sleep: Maximize your sleep quality without using a clock

Our next Wear the Gown segment offers a huge payoff, because we're talking about one of the most treasured commodities in America: sleep.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — One of the most treasured commodities in America: sleep.

Time. Sleep takes up a lot of it.

“You spend one third of life sleeping,” CHI St. Vincent’s Dr. Raghu Reddy said.

He also knows the clock is sleep's primary form of measurement.

“We're talking about people who work in the daytime and then sleep at night, wake up in the morning go to work,” Dr. Reddy said. “For them it's seven to eight hours.”

But the clock can only measure — it can't judge.

“The quantity and the quality are not the same,” Dr. Reddy said.

A person can get that seven to eight hours but they may be having a lot of disruptions in their sleep, according to Dr. Reddy. Sleep apnea, restless legs, nightmares, insomnia brought on by stress, anxiety, which are very common.

This leads to chronic sleep deprivation and Dr. Reddy is getting stern.

“My strong recommendation to them: ‘Do not go take medication. Seek help,” Dr. Reddy said.

It's in that spirit we present the major do's and don'ts of sleep:

  • Always make sure you have a strict bedtime and a strict wake up time, meaning don't nap too much and don't drink too much caffeine.
  • All devices should be off one hour to 30 minutes before bedtime. So, in turn do something that's more relaxing or listening to music or meditation or relaxation exercises.
  • Don't take your worries to bed and do not plan for your next day. If you get into day planning, go somewhere else.
  • When you get into bed, all you want to do is sleep. Sleep time should always be quality time