Five popular questions posed by those of you who turn to the internet for information about how to go to sleep.

  1. Is 6 hours of sleep enough?

A: Ideally, a normal adult sleeps about 7.5 hours. Since most people spend 30 or more minutes awake while in bed, plan to be in bed for 8+ hours at night.  The most important stage of sleep, Delta or Deep sleep, occurs early during the night. Therefore, going to bed a bit earlier makes it more likely to have more Delta sleep. ~ Dr. Dan Cohen, SOLTEC HEALTH

  1. What is melatonin?

A: “Melatonin, a hormone released in the evening by the pineal gland, cues the brain that sleep is (or should be) imminent.” ~National Geographic, SLEEP – Special Publication

“Melatonin is a hormone that humans produce naturally, though the melatonin sold in over-the-counter pills is synthetic…Melatonin appears to be safe, and it could provide a range of health benefits. But there are a lot of unknowns.” ~ Markham Heid, TIME – The Science of Sleep 

  1. Why is sleep important?

A: Sleep allows the body and brain to recover from daytime activities. It enables healing and growth both mentally and physically. ~ Dr. Dan Cohen, SOLTEC HEALTH

  1. What is the best position to sleep in?

A: Key health benefits are derived from sleeping on one’s back. Hips and knees rest in their most natural position and the spine is protected.  Those who snore may find that it is decreased when sleeping on the left side or in the fetal position. This can also relieve some back pain or discomfort during pregnancy. ~ Dr. Dan Cohen, SOLTEC HEALTH

  1. How long can you go without sleep?

A: It is dangerous to go without sleep. “The Guinness Book of World Records no longer accepts sleep deprivation records… People who sleep for as much as six hours a night still fade mentally: their reaction times slow and their concentration falters.” ~National Geographic, SLEEP – Special Publication