We all know how important at least 8 hours of sleep each night is for our daily activities, our happiness and our overall health, but fitting in the appropriate amount of hours for a good night’s rest is often easier said than done.
The reasons for not fitting in enough time to sleep are endless, but according to Fast Company, there’s a recent study that might convince you to stop whatever you’re doing and just. go. to. bed.
A sleep depravation study published in Sleep took a group of adults and monitored their sleep for two weeks. They were required to sleep for four, six or eight hours— if they were lucky. A group of subjects were also required to stay up for three days in a row. Yikes.
Obviously, those who slept for eight hours a night performed the best, but the scary part of this study was really this: those who slept for six hours a night performed just as badly as those who didn’t sleep, but it took them much longer to realize how tired they actually were.
For days, they said they felt ok, but their cognitive functions were declining. Those who only slept for four hours didn’t do so well, either, but they were well aware of their declining functions and how tired they felt.
So, the lesson here is that you really must be getting more than six hours of sleep a night to be performing at your best. Otherwise, it will catch up to you over time, and the results of that are surely not going to be good for you in any way, shape or form.
Ok, so this study’s scared you into trying to get more sleep each night, but what’s the best way to get in a solid eight hours? Well, the National Sleep Foundation has a few suggestions. They say the best way to get in some shut eye is to:
1. Stick To A Schedule
If you have a schedule that you stick to, even on the weekends, your body will become used to this cycle. That way, you’ll fall asleep much easier each night.
2. Find A Way To Wind Down
Read a book, drink a cup of tea, whatever is going to help get you in a relaxed state. And most importantly, try to avoid looking at a phone or a computer screen at least 30 minutes before hitting the hay to allow your brain a chance to shut off, in a way.
3. Create A Space For Optimal Sleeping
Make sure your room is cool and that it’s just how you like it as far as dark and quiet, if that’s how you sleep best.
4. Sleep Comfortably
A soft set of sheets and a comfortable mattress really is an important part of getting a good night’s sleep. So, invest in a higher thread count— because you’re about to be spending much more time in that bed of yours.
Whatever you do, try to keep in mind that sleep really is crucial. So, treat yourself to it a little more often, would you?
[h/t: Fast Company]
Photo by //No more