Unit 1 Taking Charge of Your Health and Wellness Copyright Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc. 84 G etting enough sleep is an essential part of staying healthy. You need plenty of sleep to help protect your physical, social, and mental- emotional health and well-being. While you are sleeping, your brain is gearing up for the next day. Your body is getting the rest it needs to function well and be productive throughout the day. Sanjay, the boy from the previous lessons, rarely gets enough sleep. It negatively affects his health and well-being, hurting his abilities in school and sports and making him more vulnerable to getting sick. What strategies can Sanjay use to improve his sleep habits? Keep in mind that different sleep strategies work best for different people. The strategies that work best for Sanjay may be different from the strategies that work best for his parents, siblings, or friends. They may also be different from the strategies that work best for you. In this lesson, you will learn some sleep strategies that may help you get adequate amounts of sleep. Set (and Follow) a Schedule Setting and following a sleep-wake schedule is one of the best ways to make sure you get enough sleep. When you follow a sleep-wake schedule, you go to bed at about the same time each night and get up at about the same time each morning. Maintaining this schedule creates a sleep-wake pattern for your body to follow (Figure 3.17). Use the same schedule every day of the week— not just Monday through Friday. Many people get too little sleep during the week and then try to “catch up” on the weekend. Sleeping in for two or three extra hours on Saturday and Sunday disrupts your body clock. This makes it more difficult to get up early again on Monday morning. There may be times when you want to change your sleep schedule. For example, you may be able to sleep later than usual during your summer vacation. You can help your body adjust to a new sleep schedule by changing the time you go to bed and the time you wake up by a few minutes each day. Going to bed and waking up just 15 or 20 minutes later each day helps you reset your biological clock to the new time and get better sleep. Take Naps If you have a younger brother or sister, you have probably seen a caregiver tucking in your sibling for a nap in the afternoon. It may surprise you to learn that naps are not just for your younger brother or sister. Taking naps is a better way of catching up on sleep than sleeping in late on the weekends. Taking naps during the day can help you get some extra sleep without disrupting your regular sleep schedule. Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com Figure 3.17 The predictable pattern of a sleep-wake schedule makes it easier for the body to fall asleep and wake up. What is a common reason it is difficult to wake up on Monday morning?