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Sense of Purpose Aids Sleep, US Scientists Find

If you’re feeling pretty well self-satisfied with your lot in life, with a strong sense of purpose, you may just hold the secret to a better night’s sleep, The Guardian reports. New research shows that on seniors aged 60 to 100 that those who felt good about past accomplishments, and who held hope for the future, also reported less insomnia and better sleep quality.

Sleep deprivation is an age-old problem that countless people suffer. In the U.S., it’s estimated that over a third of adults are not getting enough sleep — to the detriment of both their physical and emotional health. This is because your brain's prefrontal cortex (PFC), which influences such behaviors as risk-taking and social behavior, is vulnerable to the effects of sleep deprivation.

Sleep loss also affects decision-making and interferes with your ability to take in new information and adjust to changing situations, particularly when you need to make decisions involving uncertainty and unexpected change. It also increases your risk of having an accident while driving, and decreases your overall productivity and performance.

If you're having trouble sleeping, I suggest reading my Guide to a Good Night's Sleep for 33 tips on improving your sleep. No. 1 on my list is avoiding exposure to blue light, including LEDs, after sunset. Wearing blue-blocking glasses is a simple way to achieve this. Make sure you get bright sun exposure regularly, every day.

Turn off all electronic devices at least one hour before bed, and keep a regular sleep-wake cycle so your body can adjust. Also, sleep in complete darkness or as close to it as possible.
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