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The Secret to Better Sleep [infographic]

Getting a good night's sleep is essential to our productivity and overall well being. As important as well all know it is, actually getting that sleep can be difficult, as this Greatist infographic indicates.

The average American gets 6.9 hours of sleep per night, far less than the recommended 8. When we get less sleep than we need, we have slower reaction times, our blood pressure rises and we tend to eat more.

There are a lot of reasons we don't get enough rest. Some include sleep disorders like insomnia, from which 30 to 50 percent of the population suffers. Certain types of food can also put you at risk. For example, spicy foods can cause heartburn, which keeps you awake, while sugar can wake you up and leave you craving more. Chocolate contains caffeine that can give you a jolt if you eat it before bedtime. Even alcohol, which many people think relaxes them and puts them at ease, can actually prevent you from sleeping soundly.

Check out the infographic below for more revelations on the secrets to better sleep.

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We want to hear from you! How much sleep do you need at night? Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments!

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the secret to better sleep

(Photo Credit: Greatist/© Anton Maltsev - Fotolia.com)

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