Sleeping only four hours a night is wore as a badge of honor by some. We hear stories of CEOs bragging about how little they sleep and how much they get done. We’ve all done it but research is quite clear – not getting enough sleep has an impact on your health. Sleep is essential. Lack of sleep can cause serious medical problems including weight gain, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes to name a few. It can also affects your work performance and productivity.
So why is sleeping so important? Not getting enough affects your well-being and adds to your stress. For many it feels like wasting time but it’s not. Sleeping helps our bodies repair and heal. It can improve our memory since during sleep your mind organizes and reviews what you’ve learned. It can help you live longer. A 2010 study of women ranging in ages of 50 to 79 found that more deaths occurred in women who got less than five hours or more than six and a half hours of sleep per night. Other benefits include – reducing your risk of depression, improved creativity and physical ability and just feeling better all around.
On average adults need 7-9 hours a sleep a night. So if you’re a four hour a night sleeper how to get more sleep?
Here are a few tips to help you to get more sleep:
- Set a bedtime – sounds like you’re a kid, but having a set sleep schedule routine regulates your body clock and improves your changes of sleeping.
- Shut down your gadgets – phones, laptops, tablets, etc. Less light, especially the blue emitted by electronics will help you fall asleep. That blue light throws off our body’s clock and makes it harder for us to fall to sleep.
- Mediation – it can slow your mind so that you wind down and relax making falling asleep easier.
- Exercise – daily exercise based on a 2013 study from the National Sleep Foundation found regular exercisers are better sleepers
- Reading a book – Instead of watching TV until you fall asleep, try reading a book (not work related). It takes your mind off all that stuff spinning around in your head so you can relax.
Give these tips a try and have a good night’s sleep. Your body and mind will thank you.