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Learn from the Handbook: Sleep on it

BSA-Handbook-CoverLet's face it: It isn't hard to knock out for a good night's sleep after a long day hiking the trails at Philmont. You're out like a light as soon as your feet slide into the sleeping bag.

If only getting to sleep the rest of the year could be that simple.

You need about eight hours a night, and the guys in your pack, troop, or crew probably need even more. Chances are that's not happening, and the new edition of the Boy Scout Handbook can help.

Page 110 in the Fitness chapter (Chapter 3) explains the importance of sleep. The book acknowledges that a boy's rigorous schedule can often make sleep a low priority. Sound familiar? A full day at the office followed by a full night of Scout meetings can be just a tiring. To help alleviate that problem, the handbook offers these tips:

  • Plan your schedule so you go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning.
  • Enjoy some physical activities during the day.
  • Avoid soft drinks that contain caffeine as well as sugary foods and drinks in the evening.
  • Set aside quiet time as you are getting ready for bed. The bright lights of televisions and computer screens can prevent your brain from quieting down for sleep.

The handbook also reminds you to take keep an eye on your eyes. If they are red or achy, lack of sleep might be the culprit.

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