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Start > Resource centre > Articles > Winding up the body clock Part 2

Shift workers who lost about three hours' sleep a night produced half as many of the killer cells which fend off viruses as people with normal sleep patterns, according to a recent American study.

So how can we help ourselves to get enough sleep and ensure that we wake up ready to face another busy day?

Doctors say regular daytime, preferably outdoor, exercise is crucial, particularly for those with sedentary, office-bound jobs who also drive to work. Some light exercise must be built into their lifestyles - although not within the last two hours before bedtime as it could be over-stimulating and keep them awake.

Coffee and alcohol should not be drunk in the evenings. It may help you drop off, but they also cause restless sleep and will leave you feeling jaded in the morning. It may seem obvious, but make sure your bed is comfortable and welcoming. If your duvet is too heavy you will not sleep. Keep the bedroom temperature comfortably cool too and leave a window open. Watch that bedtime bath too - if it's too hot, it will make you feel too sweaty to sleep. If you find you wake up too soon, give yourself 15 minutes to doze off again. If you are still awake, you may as well get up and start your day early. Go to bed at the normal time that night and you should sleep better.

Teacher: Michael
Many articles taken from 'A word with the doctor', by Dr. John Windsor.


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