Reg­u­late Your Zzz’s

Prevention (USA) - - PULSE -

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.

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