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Getting a reasonable amount of sleep - not too little, and not too much - may help people reduce their risk of serious diseases. Hi, I'm Dr. Cindy Haines, host of HealthDay TV. According to the American Sleep Association, most adults appear to do best with 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. A new study in the journal Social Science and Medicine supports the idea of aiming for this amount. The researchers looked at surveys of more than 56,000 adults across the country. Compared to 7 to 8 hours of sleep, both shorter and longer amounts were associated with a higher chance of having obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. The National Sleep Foundation suggests the following ideas to help you get better sleep:
* Go to sleep and wake up at a consistent time throughout the week - even the weekends.
* Begin winding down with relaxing bedtime routines at least an hour before you want to fall asleep.
* Keep the bedroom dark, quiet, and cool. Make the bedroom a computer- and television-free zone.
* And avoid caffeine and alcohol shortly before bedtime.