One of the several wonderful things about my husband (there are far too many to enumerated here) is that every morning when I wake he asks me if I have slept well and feel rested.

I grew up in a household where my parents thought it was normal to fall asleep in front of the TV, wake up, and decide to “finish the night off” in bed.  They slept late on the weekends.

I think they were both chronically sleep-deprived for all of their adult lives.

I remember once, years ago, seeing some statistics that suggested more automobile accidents were caused by falling asleep at the wheel than by being drunk behind the wheel.

Since then I have heard a lot more reasons, such as fear of the cops, substance abuse of many sorts, and even inability to understand what road signs mean.

There is no doubt that getting more sleep can improve a lot of things in life, like memory and physical strength and all sorts of good things, which are too long a list to be enumerated here.  Best easy-to-read stuff for the layman is here.

Out there over two years but still the best deal in town.

Quickie summary:
*  Aim for 7 to 9 hours per night for most folks.
*  Time to fall asleep from when you hit the pillow should be about 30 minutes for the young adult; gets closer to 60 minutes as you age.
*  Shouldn’t’ need to wake up for five minutes once nightly; it gets more likely to be twice as you age.
*  If you do wake, it really should be for 20 minutes or less; 30 minutes or less when you get a bit older.
*  85% of the time you are in bed should be spent sleeping.

And a little more direct from me:

All prescription sleep aids FDA approved as such and known to me have a tendency to be addictive.

Warm milk really helps. Melatonin 1 to 6 mg. can help; more works less well and may create metabolic problems.  A little Benadryl is helpful; minimize doses of both.

Higher doses of benadryl (diphenhydramine) have been implicated, over a long time, with cognitive decline.

Do relaxing things before bed.  Great time to start your “news fast;” don’t discuss politics.

Try soft music, or reading something comforting from the Bible.

Meditation and relaxation exercises and even relaxation or self-hypnosis apps for your phone can help.

No alcohol.  It can block out rapid eye movement sleep, and wake you earlier and less rested.

Ask questions.  The only silly questions are the ones you don’t ask.

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