Sleep is incredibly important for both our physical and mental health and lack of it can result in us performing poorly at our jobs, being irritable, and even causing weight gain.
However, life can be incredibly busy sometimes, and balancing your social life, your job, exercise, family life, and your downtime can lead you to lose hours of sleep trying to fit everything in.
According to physics and maths, it’s physically impossible to get 8 hours sleep in 4 hours, however, there is a way to get 4 hours sleep and feel so well rested like you’ve had 8 hours sleep.
If you lead a busy lifestyle, then this article will help you learn how to get great quality sleep but in fewer hours so you can be your most productive self all the time.
1. Concentrate on Making Yourself Relaxed Before Bed
There’s no way you can easily fall into a deep sleep if you’re feeling anxious or stressed about your day or upcoming to-do list. So, you need to distract yourself and make yourself as calm as possible so your body feels at ease.
Try Practicing Yoga
Yoga is an easy way to help relax your mind and body and forget about the stresses of your day. Even if you’re not the most flexible person, practicing a few popular yoga poses like downward-facing dog or the lotus pose whilst listening to some soothing music can help relieve tension in your body.
You should try to focus on taking deep breaths in and out and engaging your mind with the movements of your body. Practicing just 10 minutes of yoga before you go to sleep can help you get a deep sleep during the night as your body will be more relaxed.
Find Yourself a Good Book
One of the best ways to de-stress before going to sleep is by reading a book. Reading for less than 10 minutes a night in bed before you go to sleep can significantly reduce your stress levels. The book doesn’t have to be a gripping novel but can be anything that will take your mind off your own life and make your body feel sleepy. Ideally, you should avoid reading a hard to put down book before bed as you’ll be more inclined to stay up late to continue reading.
Take a Long Bath
A bath is a great way to unwind after a long day and prepare yourself for a relaxing night of sleep. Soaking in a warm bath can ease your tired muscles and the cooling down of your body after the bath signifies to yourself that it’s nighttime and your body will get the urge to sleep.
No Electronics Before Bed
Even though you may feel that watching your favorite TV show in bed before you head to sleep is the ideal way to relax, it may be having the opposite effect on your body. Devices like computers, phone screens, and televisions emit blue light, which blocks the melatonin hormone that signifies to our body that it’s time to sleep. So instead of scrolling through Instagram for the 1000th time that day, why not try reading a few pages of your book or writing your thoughts down in a journal.
2. Make Sure Your Bedroom Is Dark, Quiet and Comfortable
Make sure you’re in complete darkness when you’re trying to fall asleep as any bright lights may send signals to your body that it’s daytime and you should be awake. A dark room will allow you to easily fall into a deeper sleep more quickly. If you don’t have black-out curtains to keep out light pollution, then try using a sleeping mask to keep out the lights.
You should try to keep your room temperature to around 65 degrees Fahrenheit as this is recommended by doctors to get great quality sleep without being too hot or too cold. You may need to alter your air conditioning setting or what you wear to bed to achieve a comfortable temperature to sleep in. If you’re happy with the temperature that you currently sleep in, then you should still try and set the temperature to our recommended number as you may find you get a better quality of sleep than you already are.
For a good night’s sleep, you’ll also need a good-quality bed to sleep in along with comfortable bedding and pillows. Try to find a mattress that suits what kind of position you sleep in and also make sure that the bedding you are using suits whatever season it is as using the bedding that is too thick can make you sweaty and uncomfortable in the night causing you to toss and turn.
To appreciate the full effect of sleeping in a dark room, you should spend a few hours a day outside in the sun if you can. This stimulates serotonin, helping you to focus throughout the day and feel calm, so when you return home, you’ll feel more relaxed and find it easier to calm down before bed.
3. Change Your Eating & Drinking Habits
If you want to sleep fewer hours but still feel refreshed and productive when you wake up, then you may need to make some changes to your lifestyle. Try reducing your caffeine intake as much as possible as this can make you feel energized even when you’re trying to get to sleep.
Make sure to eat a healthy and balanced diet throughout the day to provide you with the energy you’ll need and also try to avoid eating over sugary foods right before bed that will spike your blood sugar levels causing you to feel hyperactive.
Most people think that a few glasses of wine help them get off to sleep, but alcohol has a sedative effect which doesn’t mean a great quality of sleep. Alcohol can reduce REM (rapid eye movement) sleep or better known as deep sleep, causing people to wake up feeling lethargic and unprepared for their day.