While we might all have endless wishlists, there aren’t many things that we humans really need. It ultimately just comes down to food, water, oxygen and SLEEP! Unfortunately, far too many of us forget about that last one.
Forget about the old motto “sleep when you’re dead.” Sleep now! Do it regularly and do it well. Your body will thank you for it. After all, we spend more than one-third of our lives in bed. It’s important to maximise every moment that you spend in bed.
Although some people say that they can function on anywhere from four to six hours per night, experts agree that all of us suffer when we get fewer than seven hours per night. In fact, studies have shown that people struggle to focus and tend to be moody when they hit the sack for fewer than seven hours. So, if you think that you are doing well with five or six hours per night, you’ll feel unstoppable if you start sleeping for more than seven hours per night.
In fact, everything from obesity to diabetes to depression to car accidents rates are impacted when you are sleep deprived. When your mood is unstable and you can’t focus, you just don’t have the same decision-making abilities and it can have a major impact.
If you think that you aren’t sleeping enough, open your eyes! Start paying attention to how you feel when you first wake up. If you are consistently irritable and foggy-headed first thing in the morning, it is time to make a change.
To get your nights back on track, start keeping a consistent sleeping schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. While it might seem great to sleep in on weekends, it’ll throw off your schedule and make it harder to get a good night’s sleep.
Make it easier to fall asleep at night by avoiding screens for the last hour before you go to sleep. If you regularly drink caffeine, get into the habit of cutting back in the afternoon and quitting caffeine altogether in the evening. In general, you don’t want your body stressed or overworked at night. Stop eating two hours before bed, avoid spicy food or alcohol and limit your evening fluid intake so you aren’t waking up in the middle of the night.
Exercise can also have a major impact on how well you sleep at night. The more you exert yourself during the day, the easier it’ll be to fall asleep. Start your days by taking a walk and getting sun exposure to get your blooding pumping in the morning.
Remember that change takes time. Work on creating new habits and sticking with them for several months. It can really change your life!