Regulate Your Zzz’s
You’ve heard it again and again—go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, and aim for seven to eight hours of shut-eye per night. Now a new study of more than 2,000 adults from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston offers another reason to follow this advice. Every hour of variability in sleep duration and timing ups the risk of a metabolic abnormality such as obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, or high blood sugar by 27%.
You know the basics of good sleep—a cool and dark room, no electronics, a relaxing wind-down routine—but you may not have considered the air you breathe. “Dry air can cause more nighttime arousals or coughing, especially with heaters on during winter,” says Raj Dasgupta, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine at Keck School of Medicine of USC. “Humidified air helps you breathe more easily.” Invest in a humidifier or add potted plants, which have been shown to help purify air, to your bedroom.