One could say that it’s never been as hard to get a good night’s sleep as it is today. Most people’s careers need them to wake up at a specific time in the morning, be it for school, internship or work. This has been around for a while, but what hasn’t is the amount of distractions available right now.
Whereas before you could watch a bit of TV and doze off late-evening, the advent of the internet has given people the incentive to stay up long into the wee hours so they can check their Facebook/Twitter feeds, watch viral videos, search for pictures of funny cats and so on. The amount of people running on 3-4 hours of sleep a day is staggering, especially considering they have no organization in the form of sleep cycles.
To help you get a good rest every night and better prepare you for the day ahead, here are 4 ways you can sleep better at night.
- Managing your sleep with sleep cycle apps: Up until recently, it was commonly accepted that we need 8 hours of sleep every night unless we want to feel groggy in the morning. Now, however, people understand that there’s such a thing as sleep cycles: 90-minute ’bouts’ of sleep that need to be completed in order to feel rested. You can feel good in the morning with just 3 hours of sleep, as long as you make sure each individual cycle was completed. Using a sleep cycle app can help you a great deal here, and will act as a type of advanced alarm clock – one that actually works, that is.
- Understanding your internal clock: Our internal clocks can get messed up whenever we pull an all-nighter. Those working the night shift beat are almost sure to have their sleep messed up. If you used to hit the sack at 5 AM, you’ll have a much harder time sleeping(and resting) if you start going to bed at 9 PM. Understand this, and aim to make gradual shifts to your routine as opposed to sudden ones.
- Working on your sleeping environment: Take note of any background noises in your sleeping environment, like running appliances or computer equipment. Some people can’t fall asleep with any background noise present – if you’re one of them, either remove the noise-makers or invest in some quality ear plugs. The latter won’t just help you with noise in your home – it will also protect you if the neighbor’s dog decides to go on a barking spree in the middle of the night. Likewise, artificial light coming from TVs or computers might seem soothing as you’re falling asleep, but can actually impede your ability to get proper rest later on.
- Keeping a lid on distractions: You’ll need discipline more than anything here. When it’s time to sleep, turn off your cellphone and laptop. Don’t check your mailbox or Facebook wall that one last time – they’ll both be there for you in the morning. If you’d like something to help you fall asleep, a good book can go a long way – they might seem old-fashioned, but at least they won’t pave the path towards unplanned all-nighters.