A Sleep Researcher’s 4 Golden Rules For Good Sleep
As difficult as getting a good night’s sleep is for most people, those who have bipolar disorder know all too well the significant health costs of poor sleep. So James B. Maas, PhD, a leading sleep researcher, shares his golden rules for getting good sleep.
#1 Know what you need
Determine your need for sleep and meet it nightly. For most adults, this is seven to eight hours. A rare few need less; a significant number need nine to ten hours. (If you use an alarm clock to rise, can’t get up easily, and feel tired during the day, you’re getting too little sleep.)
#2 Get regular
Establish a regular sleep/wake schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time in the morning—seven days a week.
#3 Do not disturb
Get continuous, uninterrupted sleep whenever possible. Sleep is most rejuvenating when it’s in one long block.
#4 Make up for lost sleep
When you do lose sleep, make up for it as soon as possible, either by going to bed early for a few nights, or by napping judiciously. (Keep naps short, no longer than 30 minutes. Otherwise, you run the risk of impairing your nighttime sleep.)
Bipolar & Sleep: Problems and Solutions
9 Steps for a Better Sleep Tonight
The Science On Sleep: Why Not All Sleep Is Created Equal
Printed as “The quest for sleep,” Spring 2006