You think youíre getting enough sleep? Think again, because youíre most likely not. A lot of studies confirmed that most adults have been depriving themselves (oftentimes unnoticed) of the amounts of sleep needed.
You may think that: ďHalf an hour short of sleep wonít hurt me.Ē Sorry, but it does, especially if this becomes habitual. Each half or even only a quarter of an hour lack of sleep each night accumulates in time. You may think that the lack of sleep the night before is compensated the next night you get enough sleep. Actually, it doesnít. What you owe the night before remains in the IOU list which piles up each time you lack sleep.
Just how much sleep is enough? Although it varies depending on the person, it is ideal to consider between seven to eight hours of sleep as enough for the normal person. Younger people need more sleep than older ones.
Sleep is vital to overall health and individual functionality, which is why you have to win back your sleeping time if you lack it. Here are possible sleep robbers (or habits) that you can kick out to regain your sleeping time.
The habit of falling asleep later usually starts in a subtle way. You hardly notice youíre doing it at first, until it becomes a habit. Identify the cause. If you canít pinpoint the exact reasons why you fall sleep later at night, then chances are, they are small things or chores that are scattered. Those little time-consuming things you spend on could be trimmed and if you review them, the minutes (when accumulated) can turn to an hour or two which you could devote instead to sleeping.
You may not be able to correct this abruptly; actually it is better to adjust gradually. Once you are able to find the time to retire earlier than usual, it may be difficult to fall asleep at once because of the change in pattern. Donít worry, this is normal and only in the first few nights. Once you have adjusted to your new habit, you will eventually find it easier to fall asleep early.
Stop your dependency on sleeping aids like alcohol or sleep inducing pills. These aids may knock you out of your senses faster but they can cause frequent wakeful periods thus interrupting your sleep pattern.
If a problem or concern keeps you from falling asleep, try this method. Get a pen (a marker would be better) and a piece of paper (big enough to fill in you concern) and write your concerns on it. Lay it on your side table or tape it on the wall. You donít go to sleep with your robe on, so itís like taking your robe off before retiring. In the morning, discard the paper. Sounds trivial but for some, it works.
A phone (landline or mobile) on the bedside can be very handy particularly in an emergency. But it can also be downright annoying, especially when it is set to ring loud. Remove that phone from your earshot. If you need to keep it, set it on silent mode. Depending on your line of business or profession, that phone may or may be not be that important for night calls. Should its presence fall short of its importance, youíre better off without it during the night. That once in a lifetime call which you classify as an emergency may not be worth all the nights you are awakened by a wrong number or a nuisance call. The possibility that someone might call in the middle of the night when youíre asleep results in an agitated feeling that alters your sleep pattern, keeping you half asleep subconsciously.
Your brain monitors and maintains a record of all the hours you owe it in terms of shortage in sleep. One way or another, youíll have to pay for it. You should be thankful it doesnít charge interest or penalties for late payments. Try your best to pull yourself out of sleep deficits.
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