090813 Getting higher quality sleep

Getting higher quality sleep

Being sleep deprived is not only an annoyance but can be dangerous if you have to make critical decisions, are driving or working around machinery. The sleep you get has to be productive or the time is partially wasted. Here are a few ideas to get that all-important sleep.

An accepted method of getting more sleep if you believe you are sleep deprived is to restrict the hours that you try to sleep for three or four days in a row. The objective is to find out exactly how much time you actually need and to reduce the time you are spending in bed, thrashing about, when not sleeping.

Try cutting back on your sleep for several nights. This makes it easier to fall asleep, which in turn promotes better restful sleep in the long-term. Here are several guidelines for cutting back on your hours of sleep:

• Avoid taking any naps during the day.
• Start keeping a sleep journal as to when you go to bed, when you get up the next morning and how much you slept during the night.
• On the first night of your experiment go to bed later and get up earlier and restricting your sleep time to a maximum of four or five hours.
• If, on the next day, you felt that you slept well during that four to five hours then add another 15 to 30 minutes of sleep that night.
• When you find that you have been sleeping soundly the entire time, begin adding a few more minutes of sleep on successive nights.

After several nights of adding minutes, you will find a time when you are getting a full night’s sleep. Once you have settled on a specific time to go to bed and a specific time to get up that allows you a full night’s sleep, ideally around seven hours each night seven days a week make an effort not to disturb this pattern.

Stick with these bedtime hours, even on the weekends, until this sleeping habit is firmly ingrained. Having done this you are going to find that you do not really need as much sleep on the weekends as you once did.