How to Get More Sleep

In today’s fast paced world, full of responsibilities, pressures, and worries there seems to always be a demand on our time. Running at this pace for prolonged periods of time eventually catches up and causes emotional, physical, and mental stress. Overscheduling takes place when we have our children in every sports activity, every theatrical production, every art class, etcâÂ?¦Being busy and never slowing down has become the equivalent of being happy, or a good mom, or whatever it is that we achieve to be. We have deadlines to meet, bills to pay, and our daily life responsibilities end up higher on the priority list. We need to take time to sleep and rest. Sleep is a great healer of physical and emotional stress. Naps are okay. Humans need sleep.

Being overly tired makes us irritable, clumsy, and slow. Studies have shown that people who sleep less than six hours a night are at a higher risk of sleep-related motor vehicle crashes. Sleep loss amplifies the effects of chronic illness as well as mood disorders. Insomnia leads to depression and vice versa. Conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes are harder to control when sleep is insufficient.

If you are a workaholic, you are affecting the lives of your friends, family, and possibly the quality of your work.
If you find yourself trying to do too much at once, it is time to reprioritize. Write down what you need to the next day before bedtime. This might help you go to sleep faster. A plan for your day may also rid you of anxiety about the multiple demands on your time. First, prioritize your goals, plan your day, and try to stay focused on the key tasks you need to do for that day.

What is important is making sure that the number of hours of sleep you get is the right amount for you as well as making the most your waking hours. If you are productive and getting things done during the day, that will help you get the sleep you need and you will sleep better without the guilt and anxiety.

Getting enough sleep is important not only for your physical and mental well-being, but also is helpful to keep your creative juices flowing. Not enough sleep can make you stressed, sad, angry and tired during the day. Health experts agree that sleep is as essential to your health as food and water. The lack of sleep makes it harder to remember, learn, concentrate, and make good decisions. It also lowers your productivity and your ability to deal with stress. Safety issues are also of concern when drivers are not operating at maximum potential. Drowsy drivers significantly contribute to car accident statistics and need to take breaks at least every two hours.

Here are some tips on reducing your sleep debt:

Lower your bedroom temperature. A cooler environment means better sleep. Darken your bedroom with shades and curtains. Avoid caffeine less than five hours before bedtime. Don’t activate your brain by doing stressful activities like watching a scary movie, reading a thriller, or balancing your checkbook.
Make time for sleep. Get an adequate amount of sleep each night. Identify the amount of sleep needed to be fully alert all day, and get that amount every night. Establish a regular sleep schedule. This involves going to bed at the same time every night, and waking up at the same time every morning, including weekends, without an alarm clock. Get continuous sleep. For sleep to be rejuvenating, it needs to be the required amount in one continuous block of time. Make up for lost sleep. One should pay back their sleep debt in a timely fashion by making up for any lost sleep as soon as possible.

To restore a regular sleep-wake schedule and increase the likelihood of falling asleep soon after going to bed, do the following:
– Set a consistent wake up time that does not change, not even on weekends or holidays. Resist the urge to stay in bed longer to catch up on sleep. A consistent wake-up time will eventually reset your internal sleep-wake cycle and improve your sleep.
– Do not nap. Napping during the day increases the chances that you will have difficulty falling asleep.
– Restrict your time spent in bed to the amount of time that you actually sleep. This is the most difficult advice for people with insomnia to follow, but delaying your time to bed until you are experiencing mild sleep deprivation promotes falling asleep faster. You are getting the same amount of sleep as before, just consolidated into one period of sleep. For example, if you find that you generally get only about 6 hours of sleep a night, then don’t go to bed until 6 hours before your wake up time (always give yourself at least 5 hours in bed each night). After a few nights of sleeping well on this schedule, gradually make your time to bed earlier until you are getting a full nights sleep.

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