10 Ways to Squeeze All The Sleep You Need Each Day
June 29, 2016
As we age, our priorities change. New life goals, such as settling down, require new parameters. Thus, we strive to achieve multiple things at the same time in hopes to beat the race against time. We wake up early and sleep late to maximize every waking hour. Time is money and money is not just a means to a goal. More often than not, it’s the goal.
There are so many errors in the picture but we’ll only highlight one that has the most serious impact: waking up early and sleeping late. Among the many things that we neglect is the need to get adequate rest every day. According to Harvard Medical School, unhealthy sleeping habits has consequences. It is often linked to obesity, diabetes and chronic diseases. It can also result to reduced inefficiency and accidents.
If you’re between the ages of 18 and 64, the National Sleep Foundation recommends that you get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Anything less or more is unhealthy.
Our fast-paced lifestyle is a roadblock towards healthy living, but it is not insurmountable. Here are ten practical tips on how to get more sleep despite a busy schedule.
Take catnaps during breaks
You may know about Arianna Huffington as the woman behind one of the world’s largest media companies. Recently, Huffington found a new advocacy: promoting ways on how to improve sleep. Her “eureka moment” can be traced in 2007 when she collapsed in the middle of a toxic workday. Her three-to-four-hour-sleep routine each night finally caught up with her. In her bestselling book, The Sleep Revolution, Huffington blames the “collective delusion that overwork and burnout are the price we must pay in order to succeed” for our lack of sufficient rest.
Huffington installed multiple nap rooms in her New York office. Catching 5-minute naps during breaks can do wonders in recharging your body and mind.
Follow the 10-3-2-1-0 formula
Fitness coach Craig Ballantyne offers an ingenious way on how to sleep longer. He says that you shouldn’t have caffeine 10 hours before bedtime. No more food or alcohol three hours before sleeping. No more work two hours before bed. Shut down electronic devices an hour prior rest and you should not hit the snooze button in the morning.
By strictly following the formula, “you’ll get more done and stop letting the big opportunities in your life slip away,” according to Ballantyne.
Again, limit your screen time
Regulating the use of electronic devices is not only a better sleep tip. It’s one of the life hacks you should know. Recent data released by Nielsen reveal that an average American adult spends more than 11 hours per day on smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices. Although screen time usually takes place while doing other things at the same time, it still eats up a significant part of our waking life. Instead of spending hours browsing social media, you can hit the gym or sleep longer.
Studies show that the blue light emitted by electronic devices manipulate our brain into thinking that it’s daytime all the time, thus disrupting our body clock. Switch off your mobile phone at least an hour before bedtime.
Adopt a bedtime routine
If you’re finding ways on how to get more sleep in less time, you should know that you can’t trick your brain. Get more sleep by sleeping longer. Your next question should be: how can I fall asleep easily and stay asleep all night? Adopt a bedtime routine that will prep yourself for bedtime. You can try a few yoga poses, drink chamomile tea or meditate. Avoid vigorous exercises or mental activities such as working or reading as these may keep you up all night.
End the vicious cycle of irregular sleeping schedule
“Social jetlag” is a term frequently used when discussing this generation’s sleep problems. Researchers at the University of Munich in Germany define this as the “discrepancy between work and free days, between social and biological time.” We are sleep-deprived when we need to go work or school, to which we try to compensate by staying in bed longer during weekends. Fight social jet lag by adopting a uniform wake-sleep schedule.
Shower in morning sunshine
One of the best tips to help you sleep better at night is to expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. Sleep experts in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) explain that our circadian rhythm, which affect our sleep and wakefulness, is largely influenced by natural light exposure. “Sunlight and other time cues are used to keep our clock set from day to day,” UCLA notes.
Work with natural light
Exposing yourself to morning sunlight and catching catnaps are some of the easiest sleep hacks for a busy professional. You can also set your circadian rhythm by allowing natural light into your workspace. If you’re working at home, set up your desk near the window. If you can’t get a working station near the window in the office, take walks outside whenever you can. Just don’t overdo it as the sun’s ultraviolet rays can pose health risks.
Listen to calming music
According to a number of studies, music has a soothing effect that can help in getting healthy sleep. An hour before hitting the sack, lie on a comfortable bed and play Bach in the background. Other tunes that should be part of your sleep playlist include light jazz, nature sounds and string instrumentals.
Sleep comfortably all night with a trusty cushion
Ensure your bedroom is conducive to a good night’s sleep. You can do so by decluttering it, installing a thermostat to keep the room temperature in comfy levels, and getting high-quality bed and pillows. You should also see to it that even your bed accessories are giving you the right amount of support to your body. A layer of tufted cushion will surely help you squeeze in those longer hours of sleep you’ve been needing all along.
Just like the Uratex Cedar Mattress Topper, you get a cushion for added comfort that easily fits on top of your mattress. Its soft layer is made for enhanced sleeping with garterized straps to keep the topper in place.
Consult a doctor
Sleep difficulties may be due to a number of factors including an underlying medical condition. If you’re having problems falling asleep and staying asleep, consult your doctor right away. You may be suffering from insomnia or depression. You can ask for tips to get more sleep based on your biological profile.
The media keeps on saying that the world is getting smarter. The flow of data has never been this efficient. But the downside is beginning to outweigh the benefits. We may be succeeding in finishing more tasks but we’re miserably failing in improving the quality of our lives. We work hard for things we don’t need. We sacrifice much-needed rest to impress other people. We set aside our health to keep appearances. A healthy lifestyle is a decision each one of us should take seriously.
Head over to our blog for more sleeping hacks!