Health rule: Get 8 hours of sleep
The health benefits of sleep are well documented, and range from energy and alertness to the ability to fight off illness. But even as your doctor extolls the virtues of a strict bedtime routine followed by at least seven hours of sleep, he or she may be seriously sleepy. According to Dr. Marisa C. Weiss, doctors are often sleep deprived because the lines between work and personal time have blurred, as a result of on-call responsibilities and email and phone messages from patients, on top of the need to keep abreast of medical advances. “Sleep is frequently shortened, disrupted and hard to protect, Dr. Weiss told The Wall Street Journal. The good news is that if you’re sleep deprived during the week, research shows that you can pay back some of your sleep debt over the weekend. Watch out for these 42 strange symptoms that can signal a serious disease.
Health rule: Don’t skip the placebo pills
Most doctors won’t officially give permission to skip your period by throwing away the placebo pills in your birth control pack, but according to research from Mayo Clinic, if you’re healthy enough to be taking birth control pills, you’re healthy enough to skip your period. (And there’s no biological reason to have a period anyway.) While many doctors opt to skip their own periods, they won’t suggest that you do it because not having a period could make it difficult to tell if you’re pregnant. Here are 13 things you need to know about birth control pills if you don’t want to get pregnant—or do?