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Don't strike out on much-needed sleep

Jul. 22, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Apparently, fatigue isn't just for Cleveland Indians baseball fans waiting (again) to see their team play in the postseason. (Dr. Mike wouldn't mind a division title, but even a wild-card spot would be OK.) Fatigue can happen to players, too. One new study reveals that near the end of the season, in September, most major-league baseball players don't judge the strike zone as well as they did in April. Another study revealed that the length of a baseball player's career can be fairly well predicted by how sleepy he gets during the day.

We've mentioned before that lack of sleep and fatigue can put on pounds, impair your driving safety and cause a big drop in your bedroom batting average. One report showed sleep deprivation can even make men mistakenly believe (due to frontal-lobe impairment) that a woman's sexual interest has increased. But fortunately, bad sleeping habits and fatigue can be remedied. These techniques work on and off the field.

Opt for a diet that's got plenty of lean protein and only 100 percent whole grains to reduce daytime drowsiness and give you seven to eight hours of sleep every night. And avoid caffeine within six hours of bedtime.

If you're changing time zones, start shifting your inner clock BEFORE you leave, by hitting the sack an hour earlier (heading west) or later (heading east) than normal.

When in bed, no computers, TV or bill-paying. Then you'll make it around the bases with your sweetie more often and make the playoffs at work.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com.