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RWJ Hamilton SleepCare Center


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. Most people require seven to eight hours of sleep to feel refreshed in the morning. Identify the amount of sleep you need to be fully alert all day long, and get that amount every night. 
  2. Establish A Regular Sleep Schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every morning, including weekends.
  3. Get Continuous Sleep. For sleep to be rejuvenating try to get your required amount of sleep in one continuous block. Six hours of good, solid sleep is often more restorative than eight hours of poor, fragmented sleep. Dozing on and off for many hours may hinder your efforts.
  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 may 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 all 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.