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The SleepCare Center at RWJ Hamilton

The Golden Rules of Sleep

Do you want to be alert? dynamic? full of energy? in a good mood? productive? creative? healthy? Do you want to have good concentration? memory? decision making skills? If so, you need to get optimal sleep ...


  1. Get An Adequate Amount of Sleep Every Night. Identify the amount of sleep that you need to be fully alert all day long, and get that amount every night. At minimum most people need to obtain at least sixty to ninety minutes more sleep than they presently get.
  2. Establish A Regular Sleep Schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up without an alarm clock at the same time every morning, including weekends.
  3. Get Continuous Sleep. For sleep to be rejuvenating you should get your required amount of sleep on one continuous block. Six hours of good, solid sleep is often more restorative than eight hours of poor, fragmented sleep. Don't allow yourself to doze on and off for many hours.
  4. Make Up For Lost Sleep. Pay back your sleep debt in a timely fashion. Make up for any lost sleep as soon as possible. Sleep loss is cumulative. If you lose several hours on a given night, you will become more and more sleepy in the ensuing days, even though you get your "normal" sleep. So pay back your sleep debt.

Remember: You cannot replace lost sleep at once. When you sleep longer to catch up, try to do so by going to bed earlier than usual. You cannot make up for large sleep losses during the week by sleeping in on the weekends. A nap during the day can help you pay back your sleep debt. The important rule is to return to your regular sleep schedule as soon as possible.

For more information or to schedule the sleep study, call 866.SLEEP40 (866.753.3740).

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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Hamilton. Phone: 609-586-7900 Physician Referral: 609-584-5900.

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