None of us wants to go through the day exhausted, but getting a good night’s sleep is more than just a nice idea. Research shows we need eight hours of sleep per night to function at our peak. When we don’t get enough sleep, we’re at greater risk for heart attacks and strokes, Type II diabetes, cancer, and shortened lifespan. And, despite common practice, sleep debt can’t be corrected by banking it over the weekend. But here’s the kicker – tonight, some 65% of us will have trouble sleeping and be exhausted tomorrow. Here at Syona Home, we believe there’s nothing more natural than a good night’s sleep, and with these tips you can leave the tired masses behind.
1. Get on a schedule
To create ideal conditions for sleep, you want to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Keeping to a schedule will make you significantly more alert than sleeping for the same total amount of time at varying hours.
2. Make up for lost sleep as soon as possible.
Rather than trying to make up for lost sleep on weekends, it makes more sense to go to bed earlier and still get up at the same time the following day. If you sleep in instead, it will harder to get to sleep the following night at the usual hour.Cramming it all in is about as effective as getting in all your dieting on the weekend.
3. Sleep in a continuous block.
It’s better to have one solid sleep than to wake up periodically throughout the night. So-called “fragmented sleep” causes daytime drowsiness, compromises learning, memory, productivity, and creativity. A continuous sleep block of six hours can be more restorative than eight fragmented hours of sleep.
4. Avoid caffeine after 2:00 p.m.
If you try to sleep with caffeine still in your body, your sleep will not be as deep.
And the following day, you’ll want more caffeine. Considering that it has a half-life of six hours – which means that six hours after your last sip, half the caffeine is still in your system – you might slot your last sip to an earlier time.
5. Avoid alcohol and nicotine three hours before bed.
Though you may feel that alcohol helps you fall asleep, once it’s in the body it causes you to wake up every 90 minutes. Even if it’s only for a few moments and you don’t remember it, your body will.
6. Get your exercise in before 7:00 p.m.
Whether you like to exercise early in the morning or late in the day, be aware that strenuous exercise elevates the core temperature for five to six hours. That can keep you awake, because drowsiness occurs when body temperature drops.
7. Keep your bedroom cool.
Not surprisingly, it makes sense to keep your bedroom cool. The ideal sleeping temperature varies by person, and this can be a challenge among couples. This is one reason to choose organic cotton sheets – they breathe and allow for maximum comfort.
8. Keep it shady.
Humans are light sensitive. Any light will keep us up. This includes the light from electronics. In addition to using blackout shades, avoid having computers, TVs, or smartphones in the bedroom. They all have lights, even if they’re just charging. (Ok, the smartphones are just too tempting not to look at, and their LED screens activate brainwaves.)
9. For your reading pleasure, read nothing work related.
The body needs to power down from the day in order to fall asleep. Checking your phone or email is reading, but not relaxing. Reading for pleasure for 30 minutes will put you to sleep faster.