Sleep, Your Secret Weapon: 8 Tips to Get Your 8 Hours

Posted by in Tip of the week, What if...?

We at Belty have certainly touted the benefits of sleep before, but most people just don’t realize how important sleep is. The truth is that the duration and quality of your sleep impacts all parts of your life. Discover the surprisingly serious effects of lack of sleep and learn some tips to get your recommended nightly zzzs.

To really drive home just how important sleep is, here are a few shocking examples of how missing sleep can effect you:

After a night without sleep, your focus, memory and reaction time lowers dramatically.

Lack of sleep contributes to weight gain, depression, low libido and poor skin.

Not sleeping for 20 hours is the equivalent of having a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent—well over the legal limit.

It is estimated that that fatigue is a cause in 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths a year in the U.S.

Starvation is fatal in two weeks, but sleep deprivation has been shown to be fatal in only 10 days.

We know there are countless reasons that you may not be getting enough sleep, so here are 8 tips to help you get those 8 hours a night.

1. Sleep Blocking – Take your nightly amount of recommended sleep and look at it from a weekly perspective. For example, if you require eight hours of sleep in a night, over seven nights you will need to get in 56 hours of sleep. If you find yourself missing a few hours one night, try to add a few extra hours of sleep the following night.

2. Napping – If you’re struggling to get enough sleep at night, try to schedule a daily nap. Just keep in mind, there are a few golden rules to napping you should follow. Try to nap in the afternoon, between 2pm and 4pm so it doesn’t interfere with your evening sleep. Also, try to keep your nap to between 15 and 30 minutes. Napping longer than this can cause you to feel groggy. Experiment and see what works best for you.

3. Sleep Log – Keep track of the amount and quality of your sleep each night. This will help you make sure you are getting enough, and may reveal patterns and habits that are keeping you from getting quality sleep.

4. Routine – Try your best to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends. A consistent schedule can do wonders for your sleep quality. Also, remember to give yourself enough relaxation time to wind down before heading to bed.

5. Avoid Screen Time – Avoid TV, laptops and smart phones for at least an hour before bedtime. Studies have shown the light from these devices and the brain activity they cause can be very detrimental to getting a quality sleep.

6. Environment – Make your bedroom an ideal sleep environment. Get a good mattress and comfortable pillows. Keep it quiet, dark and cool when sleeping. Avoid watching TV or working on your laptop in bed. You want your brain to associate your bedroom with sleep.

7. Exercise – Getting regular daily exercise will help you sleep better. Just remember not to exercise too close to your bedtime.

8. Breathe – If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, try breathing exercises to help you relax. Take less breaths per minute and ensure deep diaphragmatic breathing with every breath. If your mind is very active, double the length of your exhale

We hope incorporating some of these tips and habits into your regular schedule will help improve the quality and duration of your sleep.

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