Sleep is very important!
If you’ve embraced the perks of this hot, steamy summer, you probably enjoyed celebrating the 4th of July, barbecues on weekends, summer fairs and maybe even took some time off work to go on a fabulous vacay or a weekend getaway to cool off. All those nights of boozing and mornings of sleeping in that follow can throw your sleep cycle out of whack, leaving you fatigued for days.
Whether you wonder how to get your sleep schedule back on track or you have your autumn resolutions written down for a bolder, better and more prosperous fiscal year ahead, here are the tips to get more sleep and the energy boost you need to nail new challenges ahead.
1. Time your sleep
A healthy adult should get at least 7 hours of slumber per night. To seize the day, catch a few more zzz’s as 8 hours of shut-eye fuels your alertness, bolsters your health, and makes you live longer.
When you figure out what time you have to be up and running, you can start adjusting your sleep pattern to the time frame feasible for you. And yes, to score the life-changing benefits of regular sleep schedule, you need to stick to it religiously every single day, weekends included! The key here is to be persistent and stay patient.
Rafael Pelayo, MD, clinical professor at the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and the Stanford University School of Medicine, recognizes the struggle of adapting to the early bedtime routine as a common problem. “You could stay up later an hour at a time, but going to bed earlier is hard to do.” He suggests gradual, no longer than 15 minute-adjustments to find a convenient time to set your sleep schedule and drop off with ease.
The sleep experts from Mayo Clinic give another useful advice. “If you don't fall asleep within about 20 minutes, leave your bedroom, and do something relaxing. Read or listen to soothing music. Go back to bed when you're tired. Repeat as needed.”
2. Order beats disordered sleep!
When teaching a hands-on approach to reprogram your life, Dandapni, a Hindu priest, entrepreneur, and international speaker on self-development, highlights the importance of schedule and rituals as they enhance your focus by bringing your full awareness to the task at hand.
“The sleep factor is critical,” he told the audience when talking about the quality of life, and proceeded to exemplify the interdependent relationship of sound nighttime slumber and firm willpower.
“Every day, I sleep — what a great opportunity to develop willpower. Before I go to sleep, I floss, I brush my teeth, put on my pajamas, I go to sleep. When I wake up in the morning, I finish the process of sleep. How do I finish the process of sleep? I make the bed every day. So every day I wake up in the morning I make the bed.”
Science agrees. The study on American and Italian adolescents found that solid sleep hygiene is to thank for better the sleep of Italian teens. American kids lack discipline when it comes to their bedtime routines, and it takes a massive toll on their sleep quality and academic success.
The same goes for adults. Poor sleep hygiene causes insomnia and vice versa: proper bedtime habits are a viable treatment option for this debilitating condition that affects more and more people around the globe.
3. Use sounds for sounder sleep
While the environmental noise can rob you of slumber, some sounds are pure music to your zzz’s, and the sleep aid you didn't know your restless mind craved. Specific frequencies are found to have a fantastic effect on the brain as it uses them to tune in, relax, and start to doze off.
Pink tunes are the perfect defense mechanism against waking up in the middle of the night. As your body tries to adapt to the new sleep pattern, you might face these wearisome night struggles. Listening to pink noise enhances deep sleep and improves memory, and therefore boosts both your physical and mental health.
White noise masks the unwanted clutter and has a soothing effect. White soundwaves are ideal for people that live in loud and busy neighborhoods and are highly beneficial to the youngest sleepers as well as the oldest ones.
Binaural beats are a cup of warm chamomile tea that will get you all the zzz’s you need. As the brain perceives two particular frequencies as one, its activity slows down, stress-hormones drop and sleep-inducing hormones rise. This alignment of different sound waves results in relaxation, and the shut-eye you dream of follows along.
If you don’t have time to swing by your doctor’s office for advice on what devices to use to help you nod off, there is plenty of stuff online, available for download.