Not sleeping enough affects our body more than the usual bloodshot eyes and the grumpiness. It can also make us more accident-prone, reduce the cognitive ability and even sap our sex drive.
And while this does not come as news to us, we still keep running on fumes because we fail to get enough sleep on a daily basis. Thankfully, by tweaking some of our daily routines, we are able to significantly improve our sleep schedules while also boosting the ability to think on the fly or even our stress management.
Here are 7 tips of taking your sleep back. And trust me, they work because lots of people have tried them and are extremely happy with the results. It’s way better than the usual counting sheep.
1. First of all, forget about hitting the snooze button. You’ve been there, I’ve been there, we’ve all been there. And as tempting as it is, it isn’t good for your body. If you’re the kind of person who always hits the snooze button, even if you only hit it one time before you wake up, research shows that, by doing this, getting out of bed is even harder. By nodding off after waking up, your natural sleep rhythm throws you off balance. And while at first snoozing may feel great and all, in the end it will make you feel hangover.
2. Make sure to fix your workspace. Everything from gazing at your laptop screen, to the office’s artificial lighting can affect the quality of your sleep. Throughout the day you need to take control by stepping outside and enjoying the natural sunlight. Also, you should, if possible, place your desk 30 feet from a window. By doing this you become more alert and more productive. Wouldn’t that be great?
3. Nap like a baby. Taking naps isn’t just for babies. Even adults need them from time to time. Nowadays, a number of companies perceive sleeping on the job as a good thing. Companies like Google, Zappos and The Huffington Post go as far as to offer nap rooms for weary workers. And the list grows with each day that passes. And if your company cannot offer this type of perk, listen to your body outside of work and rest when you need to. Just make sure that the room is dark and quiet and take 20 minutes tops.
4. Defeat stress. An increasing heart rate, anxiousness or racing thoughts can disrupt our sleeping patterns, by creating a vicious cycle that only makes us more stressed out. To alleviate stress from disrupting your sleep, you should make a habit out of trying calming techniques before going to bed. You can either try breathing deeply, listening to relaxing music or meditating.
5. Avoid drinking alcohol or coffee before you go to bed. Coffee or non-herbal teas will sap the body’s natural sleep cycle, so it’s recommended that you avoid them before bed. For some individuals, that means avoiding these types of drinks for up to 4 to 6 hours before sleep.
6. Quit spending time on your electronic devices before bed. Nowadays, bedrooms are less and less places of sleep, relaxation and more zombie zones where we spend countless hours reading emails that could definitely wait until tomorrow. According to current research, scientists have discovered that the glow emitted from electronic screens mess with our body’s circadian clock (the system in charge of regulating sleep), suppressing melatonin and keeping us awake longer. Thus, get your laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc. out of the room and have a proper night’s rest.
7. Find out how much sleep you need. If you think this is a given, you couldn’t be more wrong. Some people consider that each and every one of us has the same magic sleep number. However, the National Sleep Foundation begs to differ and thinks it has managed to figure out this age-old mystery. Teens, adults and seniors need eight hours of sleep per day, but some individuals may require more or less. If you listen to your body and get some rest when you are tired, you should get enough sleep.