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"What factors can impact the quality of one's sleep and how can they be optimized for improved rest?"

**90-minute sleep cycles**: Each sleep cycle lasts approximately 90 minutes, and ideally, you need 4-6 cycles every 24 hours to feel rested.

**Genetics and sleep**: Genetics can determine how long you sleep, and even how well you respond to sleep deprivation.

**Sleep environment matters**: A dark, quiet, and cool room (around 60-67°F) can improve the quality of your sleep.

**Circadian rhythm**: Exposure to sunlight during the day helps regulate your body's internal clock, which can improve sleep quality.

**Consistency is key**: Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, including weekends, helps regulate your body's sleep-wake cycle.

**Relaxation techniques**: Activities like reading, stretching, or listening to soothing music can help you relax before sleep.

**Avoid stimulation before bed**: Avoid electronics, caffeine, and heavy meals at least 2 hours before bedtime to improve sleep quality.

**Get enough sleep**: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following sleep hours per day: 11-14 hours for 12-year-olds, 10-13 hours for 35-year-olds, 9-12 hours for 6-12 year olds, 8-10 hours for 13-18 year olds, and 7 or more hours for adults 18 and older.

**Sleep and physical health**: Chronic sleep deprivation can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other diseases.

**Sleep and mental health**: Sleep plays a crucial role in brain performance, mood, and mental health.

**Power naps**: A 20-30 minute power nap can improve cognitive function and memory, but longer naps can lead to sleep inertia.

**Sleep stages**: There are four stages of sleep: Stage 1 (NREM), Stage 2 (NREM), Stage 3 (deep sleep), and REM (rapid eye movement).

**Sleep duration and age**: Sleep needs change with age, with babies sleeping 16-18 hours a day and older adults sleeping for shorter periods.

**Sleep and food**: Avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime, and eat a balanced diet to promote better sleep.

**Sleep hygiene**: Prioritizing sleep hygiene practices, such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and creating a sleep-conducive environment, can improve sleep quality.

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