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Sleeping Habits 101

Next time you're playing Wii into the wee hours of the night and your mom tells you to go to bed, just do what she says! Sleep is incredibly important for your health and body and if you're not sure why, just read on to find out.

Why Is It Important?

You're bound to be tired when you're in school all day, and then head off to play sports, participate in extracurricular activities, hang with friends, do homework and catch up on all your favorite TV shows. By the end of the day, your brain and body need to catch some ZZZs! You need about nine hours of sleep every night to function normally the next day; otherwise, you won't be able to think clearly or concentrate in class. Sleep is also important cuz it helps you grow and builds your immune system to prevent you from getting sick.

The Sleep Cycle

Every night, you go through five different stages of sleep.
  • Stage 1 - You get drowsy and start to drift off. Your breathing becomes slow, heartbeat becomes regular and there's not much body movement.
  • Stage 2 - You enter a light sleep, but can still be easily awakened by noises.
  • Stage 3 - You're in a deeper sleep, where it's difficult to wake you up.
  • Stage 4 - This is the deepest stage of sleep. Sleepwalking and bedwetting occur in this phase.
  • REM - Your brain suddenly becomes much more active. You have rapid eye movements (REMs), your face, fingers and toes may twitch, and dreams will occur.
  • The Sleeping Positions

    Ever wondered what your sleeping position says about you? It actually reveals a lot about your personality!
  • If you sleep on your back, you're confident, outgoing and open to new challenges and experiences.
  • If you sleep on your stomach, you're a perfectionist and a bit of a control freak who likes to have things done your way. But, you're also creative, focused and stick to what you believe in.
  • If you sleep on your side, you're easygoing, adapt well to new situations and like to go with the flow, but can be somewhat of a pushover.
  • Snooze Suggestions

  • Set a regular sleep time so you go to bed and wake up around the same time every day.
  • Don't drink coffee, pop or any other drink with caffeine in it after 2PM.
  • Don't nap during the day. If you really need to, keep it to 30 minutes max.
  • Make sure you like your room - the more comfortable you feel in your environment, the easier it'll be for you to relax and fall asleep.
  • Warm milk works wonders! Zap it in the microwave for about 20 seconds to heat it up.
  • Related Stories:

  • Waking Sleepwalkers
  • The Sound of Snoring
  • The Meaning of Dreams
  • More Health and Body Info!
  • 22 Comments

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    Poll

    How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Get?

    • About 9 hours.
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    • It differs every night.

    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    labimba
    labimba posted in Style:
    Neko girl I have to get back in shape for September if u want we can be training buddies!  :)  
    reply 16 minutes
    animallover468
    animallover468 posted in Style:
    EndlessDream is right. Skipping breakfast and lunch can result in stomach ulcers and sudden weight gain (had personal experience...), ESPECIALLY skipping breakfast! You have to incorporate exercise in your daily routine. Stomach and body fat is mostly caused by lack of exercise, and maybe that means you need to do toning exercises. Try doing simple exercise videos like the 3-mile powerwalk on YouTube (trust me, I sweat like crazy when I do those workouts). Anything that gets you sweating, is the kind of exercise you need to do.  I hated working out when I first started my weight loss journey too. I would always start wheezing every time I started working out. But after pushing through everyday, I think working out is one of the best stress busters I've ever had!  If you want to lower your appetite though, I suggest eating a full lunch and breakfast and skipping your dinner. If you can't skip dinner, then at least try aiming for an early dinner, around 5:30 or 6:00. Your body needs time to digest at least 4 hours before you sleep. I started gaining weight around puberty when I was 12, it could be the same for you too.  But honestly, there's nothing wrong with having consciousness about your weight. Now starving yourself and dieting is BAD, but there's nothing wrong with changing your lifestyle in order to be fit. It's a good thing that kids start caring about their health, and the earlier you start, the better off you are. 
    reply about 1 hour
    EndlessDream
    EndlessDream posted in Style:
    You need breakfast and lunch. Starving yourself, even if you aren't hungry, makes you loose energy to the point you could pass out from not eating. Keep your diet healthy. For breakfast, at least have yogurt, fruit, and juice. Drink at least 4 full glasses of water a day. Trim down on the snacks. Everyone has different bodies and build. You may just be large-boned. And that's not bad! That makes you stronger and higher ability to gain muscle. Loosing weight doesn't happen over night. It can take months. 
    reply about 19 hours
    Nekogirl101
    Nekogirl101 posted in Style:
    For years my parents would tell me I'm skinny but compared to other people, my waist was bigger and I would always hide it. Though it was obvious I weighed more, I've only been doing this for a week and I didn't ever tell anyone what I was doing until my parents found out. I would skip lunch and breakfast and say I was full. I only ate a big dinner every night. Once my parents found out, they said it was unhealthy and if I didn't  stop, I would develop an eating disorder. I obviously listened to them, but I've tried as best as I can so far. I have barely lost any weight from exercise and my parents won't let me go on a diet because I already 'eat healthy enough'. I want to lose weight without exercising being 3/4s of my lifestyle. I know, I'm a lazy idiot for saying all this.
    reply about 20 hours
    rainbowpoptart
    Yes, purely for the fact that you should not "hate" your sister (or anyone, for that matter).  I'm guessing by "get in trouble for her", you mean she does something wrong and the blame is all put on you? Yeah, little siblings tend to do that a lot. My brother did for the longest time, until my parents found out how much a liar he is. She, hopefully, will grow out of this eventually. Either that, or your parent[s]/guardian[s] will eventually see through her. You lose your friends to her? By this do you mean your friends want to hang out with her and they want you to tag along and you don't? Or do you mean your friends chose your sister over you? If it's the latter, then perhaps you shouldn't have ever referred to those people as friends. You'll find friends who'll prefer you over your sister, I'm sure of it. The only thing I can tell you to do is try to get along with your sister. Every group of siblings has their cats and dogs moment in life, but they grow out of it (most of the time; there are, of course, circumstances where it doesn't work out that way). Please be grateful for your sister, even if you two fight a lot. You never know how much you need something until it's gone.
    reply 1 day