Nothing feels better than waking up refreshed and renewed. And it’s no wonder: There’s a lot of rest and repair going on while your mind and body downshift into sleep. What happens when you get the 7–8 hours that most of us need?
Stressful thoughts may keep you up. Pain might make it hard to get comfortable. Aging can get in the way of sleeping deeply. Or, sometimes there doesn’t seem to be any explanation for sleep challenges.
If this is you, you’re not alone. As many as one-third of American adults experience “short sleep duration.” That is, they regularly sleep fewer than eight hours a night—the amount most of us need for optimal health.
But here’s some good news that might surprise you: What you do during your day can make a big difference in how you sleep at night.
Bonus: The dog’s okay! Research says a pet in the room doesn’t disturb human sleep, as long as it stays off the bed. (9)