Golden Rules of Sleep
Get Adequate Amounts of Sleep Every Night
Sleep research is often done with college students since their sleep is often disrupted from staying up late studying or hanging out with friends. Most adults need between 7-9 hours a night to feel rested and to be at your best.
If you get 4 hours on one night and then sleep 10 hours on the weekend, you may be able to make up for being sleep deprived. Researchers are studying the effects of sleep deprivation, and if you are chronically sleep deprived, there can be many negative consequences that impact your performance, your health and your long term well-being.
Identify the amount of sleep you need to be fully alert all day long. Get that amount of sleep every night.
Establish a Regular Sleep Schedule
Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up without an alarm clock at the same time every morning, including weekends. Your biological waking and sleeping clock is not programmed for weekends. Even slight changes in sleep cycles can cause problems.
Get Continuous Sleep
For sleep to be rejuvenating you should get your required amount of sleep in one continuous block. Six hours of solid, uninterrupted sleep is better than 8 hours of disrupted sleep. It is also better to get a good night’s sleep than a light night of sleep and naps during the day. If there are disruptions in your sleep, find ways to eliminate these disruptions.
Make Up For Lost Sleep
Make up for any lost sleep as soon as possible. Occasionally it is all right to have a late night; however, it is important to note that reducing sleep by one hour for seven nights has the same effect as staying awake for twenty-four consecutive hours once a week.
You cannot make up for lost sleep in one night or on the weekends. Sleep was lost over time, and it must be repaid over time as well. In order to do this, go to bed earlier rather than waking up later.
Exercise has a wide range of physical and mental benefits, which improves sleep. Exercise is most beneficial on sleep when it occurs within 3 to 6 hours of bedtime.
Other Important Sleep Tips
- Stop smoking
- Reduce caffeine intake
- Avoid alcohol near bedtime
- Try relaxation techniques
- Maintain a relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom
- Value your sleep and make it a priority
Keep A Sleep Log
Every night track the amount of sleep you get and any interruptions that occur. The goal is to maximize the amount and quality of sleep. If there are interruptions assess your sleeping area and creatively find ways to reduce and eliminate them.