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How much sleep is enough? Infants typically need about 16 hours a day and teenagers require about nine. Adults should average seven or eight hours, although some may need only five but others have to have as many as 10 hours each day. Not getting enough sleep can have negative effects on your health — and so can hitting the snooze button to try to catch some extra ZZZZZs.

According to recent studies by AsapSCIENCE, waking up after an alarm and then trying to get a few more minutes of shuteye can throw off your sleep cycle and leave you even more tired. This happens because about an hour before waking up the body starts preparing for the day by raising its internal temperature and releasing dopamine and cortisol. 

If you wake up — and then go back to sleep — your confused body returns to its sleep cycle and enters into an even deeper sleep stage than before. This fragmented sleep that occurs in the first 10 to 30 minutes after hitting the snooze button can actually undo the benefits of restorative sleep and even impair daytime activities.

So how can you wake up feeling rested, relaxed and ready to start the day? Try setting your original alarm a little bit later and getting up when it goes off the first time. Other steps you can take to get a better night’s rest and improve your sleep include going to bed only if you are sleepy, getting out of bed if you cannot fall asleep in about 20 minutes, and going to bed and getting up at approximately the same time every day.

To learn about the paybacks of lost sleep, visit the free, online health library on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/LostSleepPaybacks.

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218

214-324-6100
www.doctorshospitaldallas.com

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