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A daily routine improves sleep quality

April 1, 2010 |  9:25 am

For older adults, keeping a daily routine may prevent insomnia and improve sleep quality, according to a new study.

Pillow When a colleague of mine heard about this finding, she suggested that the boredom of doing the same thing at the same time every day must account for the easy bedtime. But the researchers, from the University of Haifa in Israel, say it's more likely that humans benefit from synchronization between their daytime and nighttime activities.

The study, of people living in a retirement community, showed that stability in the timing, frequency and duration of daily activities like watching TV, reading, bathing, dressing and eating was more strongly associated with sleep quality than stability in activities like shopping or keeping appointments.

More research is needed, the authors said, to understand whether good quality sleep leads to stable lifestyle routines or stable lifestyle routines lead to restful nights. The study is published in the journal Sleep.

-- Shari Roan

Photo credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

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