A Good Night’s Sleep


NEW YORK: Don’t we all want to wake up in the morning, absolutely recharged and fueled with lots of positive energy? We know already that no electric gadgets should be placed in our bedrooms and that drinking coffee and too much alcohol at night keeps you away from a good night’s sleep, but learn what other great tips there are from New York’s best sleep doctor, Janet Krone Kennedy, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, founder of NYC Sleep Doctor and author of The Good Sleeper: The Essential Guide to Sleep for Your Baby (and You).

IRMA: A nap during the day. Can this catch up with sleep deficiency during the night?

Janet Krone Kennedy, Ph.D.: Naps should not be used to catch up on lost sleep at night. Short naps early in the day can increase alertness and concentration without disrupting nighttime sleep. But longer naps aimed at catching up on lost sleep are more likely to prolong the nighttime sleep problem.

IRMA: The best tips for a healthy sleep when you are flying long distance?

J.K.K.: To overcome jetlag, stay awake until a normal bedtime even though you might be very sleepy. Napping or going to bed very early will prolong the jetlag disruption. Fresh air and sunshine during the day help the body to adjust to local time by suppressing or “turning off” the melatonin that makes the body feel sleepy.

IRMA: Which bedside read will make your tired in a nice and comfortable way?

J.K.K.: I recommend reading fiction at night. Reading fiction occupies the mind away from the stress of the day and keeps thoughts from racing. It’s always best to stay away from disturbing content.

IRMA: What is the best natural remedy against tiredness when you have to be wide awake and need a performing mind?

Janet Krone Kennedy, Ph.D.
Janet Krone Kennedy, Ph.D.

J.K.K.: Fresh air, sunshine, and drinking ice water can increase alertness. Stretching or taking a brisk walk can also help. Coffee or tea—in moderation—are helpful, but it’s important to limit caffeine to early in the day.

IRMA: Is it true that your body needs a minimum of 7 hours of sleep to recover from the day and feel good for the next one?

J.K.K.: No. Each person is different. There is no magic number that works for everyone. The average adult needs 7-8.5 hours of sleep. But that is a range. Sleep varies from night to night and from person to person. When a person is focused on getting a certain amount of sleep, it creates pressure that turns into performance anxiety. That can lead to less sleep.