These days, the number of stressors getting added into our days is taking a heavy toll on us. Whether it is the stress of finishing a project or the stress of the domestic help not coming on time, all of these events contribute to the erratic nature of our sleep schedule.
The average duration adults should be sleeping is ideally about 7 to 9 hours. However, what invariably happens is that we all manage to catch just about 5-6 hours of sleep daily. With 5 to 6 hours of sleep, we attempt to conquer our 18-hour long active days, which is without a doubt unhealthy.
The first questions that you should ask yourself are – do you feel tired throughout the day? Maybe take random naps in between work? And finally keep waking up when you actually do fall asleep? This is because your sleep schedule has gone haywire! Let’s discuss a few simple tips by which you can have a more energetic and productive day by correcting your sleep schedule.
1. Make a schedule
The basic aspect you need to factor in is putting down a schedule for when you will sleep and when you will wake up. This schedule shouldn’t just be for your weekdays or days when you work, it should span out throughout your weekends as well as your holidays. Try to make it such that you have enough time to relax before you actually go to sleep while still being productive and finishing the work you have for the day. Make sure you stick to this. Without it, you probably will still feel exhausted during the day.
2. Do NOT take long naps
If you suddenly start dozing off or catch yourself barely being able to keep your eyes open during the daytime, stop and think! If you keep napping between your daytime activities, your body won’t obey you at night. Resting or snoozing for few minutes in the afternoon helps you tackle the tiredness and makes you more alert and eager to take on the rest of the day that follows. But make sure that you don’t snooze off for more than 15 minutes or half an hour during the day. Avoiding prolonged naps during the afternoon will make your body more ready to go to sleep when it actually has to.
3. Exercise during the day
Try to tire yourself out as much as you can during the day. Start your day with some exercising or a planned work out. This way you are energised for the day and you will be adequately tired by the end of the day. Exercising during the day will make your body understand that you need some undisturbed sleep. What exactly happens when you exercise in the evening? Well, unlike meditation, by exercising in the evening or a couple of hours before you go to bed your body remains energised and restless when you’re trying to fall asleep which will leave you lying in bed, awake as a bat.
4. No Caffeine. No Alcohol. No Cigarettes
Caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes might be ways by which you relax after a stressful day; however, for sleep, and for your overall wellbeing, they aren’t helpful. No amount of alcohol or tobacco or even caffeine can help you relax the way sleep can. You may “feel” that any of these three substances help in reducing the feeling of stress but none of these substances can actually get rid of the toll that the day has taken on your body. Alcohol induces a sense of drowsiness, but it also leads to erratic and disturbed sleep during the night.
POINT TO NOTE: Although it is said that 7 to 9 hours of sleep is necessary, what is also significant is that for those 7 to 9 hours you have quality sleep. Disturbed sleep leaves you more tired than less sleep. So when making a sleep schedule keep in mind that quality is as important, if not more, as quantity.
5. A comfortable bedroom
This tip might seem like it is off Pinterest however it actually does work. Make your bedroom cozy and comfortable. By making an environment that fosters relaxation and comfort you will be more inclined to fall asleep. Try, if you can, to not work in your bedroom. Keep your bedroom only for unwinding and relaxation. This way you can keep a distinction between your work and your sleep.