Monday, October 20, 2008

Americans Caught Napping When Polled About Sleep

(NAPSI)-If you're not getting enough sleep, you have lots of company. According to a new survey by SleepBetter.org and conducted by independent research firm Yankelovich, three of four Americans are tossing and turning at night and not getting the sleep they need. What's more, Americans may be nodding off when it comes to separating sleep facts from sleep fiction.

Here are just some of the responses to a recent survey from SleepBetter.org, a new Web site that is dedicated to tips and advice for those seeking better sleep:

Q. Any exercise too close to bedtime can inhibit sleep. (a) Myth (b) Fact

Answer: (a) This is a myth, though only 24 percent of those polled answered correctly.

Q. Counting techniques can help people fall asleep. (a) Myth (b) Fact

Answer: (b) This is a fact, yet only 26 percent of those taking the survey answered correctly.

Q. Trying to fall asleep with the TV on can keep people from sleeping. (a) Myth (b) Fact

Answer: (a) This is a myth, yet only 31 percent of survey recipients could answer correctly.

Q. The amount of sleep people need decreases with age. (a) Myth (b) Fact

Answer: (a) This is a myth, yet 42 percent thought it was true.

Q. Having insomnia can run in the family. (a) Myth (b) Fact

Answer: (b) This is true, and 45 percent thought it was true, while 41 percent didn't know and 14 percent thought it was a myth.

Whether it's financial woes, political contention or more personal problems that are affecting the sleep habits of American families, all too many people are not sleeping well and want to improve the quality of their rest. To help, here are some sleep tips from SleepBetter.org that may help you get a better night's sleep tonight:

1. Retire within two hours and rise within one hour of the same time every day, even on weekends.

2. Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, which suppress deep sleep, within three to six hours of bedtime.

3. Avoid heavy meals within three hours of bedtime.

4. Use your bed for resting or sleeping, not for office work, watching television or playing video games (unless it helps you to doze off).

5. Put work aside two to three hours before sleeping.

6. Make the bedroom into a sanctuary. Try aromatherapy or bring the freshness of the outdoors inside with air-dried sheets and sunned pillows and comforters. Linen sprays scented with soothing lavender or rose offer another option.

7. Keep the bedroom quiet, dark and cool.

8. If you fail to fall asleep within 25 minutes, get out of bed and read for a while, selecting soothing rather than stimulating material.

9. If slumber continues to elude you, consider a visit to a sleep specialist.

SleepBetter.org, created by Carpenter Co., the world's largest producer of comfort cushioning products, is a good resource for engaging science-based tools, tips and information to help people get a better night's rest.

For more ways to put sleepless nights to rest, visit www.SleepBetter.org.

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