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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.
    • Less than 9 hours.
    • More than 9 hours.
    • It differs every night.

    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    Autonomy
    "Lulu335" wrote: I live in a military family, which means we have to move A LOT. I'm halfway through 6th grade, and I'm really stressed out. The reason is because I have a guy who really likes me, and we liked each other back in the 5th grade, and he's even got me presents and everything, but now I'm starting to doubt whether I still like him or not. And he is a great guy; he's silly, funny, kind- but I just don't know if he's the right guy for me. Plus there's a friend of mine who I know likes me as more than a friend, and he's a great guy, too. I really need advise!! Oh sweetheart, your situation is so, so very far from being complicated. In fact, it's actually, entirely simple. But I'm here to help you see that, because you can't see it yourself quite yet. Brace yourself, you may never hear such advice in your life ever again. Or you might, I can't predict the future. You're in sixth grade, you said. Assuming you live in the United states and weren't held back, you're probably 12, maybe 11. The problem is, the human brain isn't fully developed until a person hits the age of about 25. This means, without debate, that your brain unable to fully grasp what being in a relationship actually entails, what it means, what the consequences are, and so forth. You can't even fathom it, my dear. I couldn't at your age; no one can. You've just begun to hit puberty at this point in your very young, completely normal life. Certain hormones are now being developed by your body that, up until puberty began, your body did not produce. Let me explain, in simple terms, what this means: these new hormones are giving you fuzzy feelings for boys, but these feelings are not what people with fully developed brains call "love." Love means being self sacrificing, compromising, giving and taking, communicating clearly and honestly, and so much more. What you're feeling is a part of love-romance-but it's not all there is to love. It's actually just a few simple chemicals being released in your brain: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and few others. Your brain releases those chemicals when, say, you see a boy you like, and those chemicals make you feel all fuzzy inside. In fact, (brace yourself,) there's nothing inherently special about the boys you like, or the boys that like you; in fact, they're also, entirely normal, and aside from a few minor differences in character, completely like most other boys their age. Had you been born in another town, gone to another school, you would have gotten the same fuzzy feeling about whatever boy you thought you liked at that school. You see? I'm not saying this to make you feel insignificant, but perhaps the insight will make moving easier for you. The next place your militant parents settle down in will also have a middle school, with a bunch of normal 11-14 year old boys and girls, all doing the exact same things the kids at your school do right now. Does that put things in perspective for you? The world is a very, very big place, and it's home to billions upon billions of people. Your situation is far from being a needle in a hay stack; it's more like a blade of grass, in a vast field of foliage. The feelings you're feeling aren't uncommon or complicated, they just feel that way to you. (Now, really brace yourself, because this is going to get uncomfortable.) We, as people, tend to think that we're special. Each one of us a unique snowflake, drifting about in big blue sky, that exists solely to show the world how special we are. The problem is, the other seven billions snowflakes (people) think exactly like we do, and in this way, we are all the same. We think our problems are new problems that no one has ever dealt with before, and no one else could possibly understand the pain and suffering we're going through. We all think this way, by nature; but it's simply naive. Heartache and suffering have existed since people existed, and possibly before then. Your situation may not be ideal to you, but once you come to terms with the fact that life isn't ideal for anyone, you might actually feel comfort. The easiest way to cope with our many problems, is to accept them for what they are: a part of the human experience. Natural, normal, repeating generation after generation without end. Again, these are concepts that require some deep thought, and you might not fully grasp them quite yet. But remember them. With time, as you grow, think about them more, and you will find peace with your life. And remember this: although you're stuck (for now) on a giant rock hurling around the sun at an incredible speed, you're not alone. With billions of other people stuck here with you, you'll never be without friends.
    reply about 4 hours
    Fun_125
    I personally think that when you ARE ready then go for it! As long as the person you like isn't a jerk to anyone or you go for it! Just don't get too serious. It's middle school. Good luck!
    reply about 6 hours
    Error44
    "Lulu335" wrote:I live in a military family, which means we have to move A LOT. I'm halfway through 6th grade, and I'm really stressed out. The reason is because I have a guy who really likes me, and we liked each other back in the 5th grade, and he's even got me presents and everything, but now I'm starting to doubt whether I still like him or not. And he is a great guy; he's silly, funny, kind- but I just don't know if he's the right guy for me. Plus there's a friend of mine who I know likes me as more than a friend, and he's a great guy, too. I really need advise!!I know, it is too late but I think you should not go for a deeper relationship, don't make it hard for yourself and try to be his just friend because you are so young .
    reply about 9 hours
    Error44
    "queenslay173" wrote:I was at school when I noticed people started to tell me this boy liked me and I thought it was cool because I'm used to that type of stuff then we started to dated in October we broke up right before christmas and it was so strange. we got back together in the beginning of January and we broke up again on the 4 my friends are really mad at me and he seemed really upset I like him but I just don't want to be with him anymore what should I do ?- confused lover Tell him your reasons and make it clear for both of you
    reply about 9 hours
    lottie_h141
    lottie_h141 posted in Style:
    thank u!!! acc helps so much. Obvs going to superstars aswell 
    reply 3 days