The phrase, “There just aren’t enough hours in the day,” is a common one that many busy Americans are familiar with. Jobs, commitments and taking care of family can easily occupy a ton of your time. But it seems that what all of this constant motion and business leaves us with is not enough hours in the night- for sleep! Many Americans are sleep deprived and many are not even aware of it, or how much sleep deprivation can affect functioning. A recent article in Self Magazine details how to tell whether or not you are sleep deprived and, if you are sleep deprived, what you can do to rectify it.
Research experts have noticed that there are three main signs that indicate individuals are not getting enough sleep: daily dependence on caffeine in order to stay alert, needing an alarm to wake up on time and sleeping in much later than you do on weekdays. These signs align perfectly with one who is sleep deprived. The following are tips on how to get better sleep, and thus, take better advantage of the hours that you do have in a day!
1. Change how you think about sleep– Treating sleep as a treat, as you would a shopping trip or a manicure, discredits its importance in your overall health. Start to view sleep as a crucial component of your well being- just as you treat a balanced diet and consistent exercise.
2. Slowly up your hours– In order to start getting more sleep, implement your earlier bedtime slowly and incrementally. Try going to bed 10-15 minutes earlier than normal for one week. The next week, add another 10-15 minutes to the previous week’s time. By the end of one month’s time, you’ll have added an extra hour of sleep to your nights and gotten yourself into a manageable routine.
3. Make changes in your room- Believe it or not, setting the temperature of your room around 3 degrees lower than the rest of the house- roughly 65-68 degrees- helps you to fall asleep, because your body cools down during sleep and a colder room aids in your drifting off. Lowering the lights prior to bedtime helps as well, as it begins to signal to the body that it is time to sleep.
These are just a few simple changes you can make in your day-to-day routine to start getting a better night’s sleep! Check out the article in self for more tips on getting more sleep.