Health begins at night

As each day of the life of my two year-old daughter has gone by, I become more convinced that sleep is a number one, maybe number two mandate for leading a healthy and functional life. Anyone who has survived on just an hour or two of sleep quickly realizes why sleep is often used as a form of torture. Our need for sleep clearly diminishes with age: newborns need 16-20 hours of sleep per day while adults require about eight. Nonetheless, we all need it and for most of us, we could all benefit from more of it.

Easier said than accomplished, right? This weekend, or the next opportunity you have to sleep in, allow yourself the deserved pleasure of sleeping in until your body naturally awakens. Then assess your sense of wakefulness. If you feel like you could sleep more (and hopefully your household responsibilities allow you to), then sleep more. Your body probably needs it.

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