Society tells us we should spend our moments eating better, working harder, engaging with others and that every waking moment is expected to be productive. What is often excluded from this narrative is the importance of sleep and the observable fact that humans spend a considerable amount of their lifetime sleeping.
Getting quality sleep is one of the best ways to improve both your health and productivity. Contrary to popular belief, it’s more productive to get an extra hour or two of sleep per night instead of staying up late or waking up alarmingly early. The majority of adults are not getting the recommended 7 or more hours of sleep per night as recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Getting better sleep requires a level of self-awareness and motivation. These tips work in conjunction with the body’s circadian rhythm (the body’s internal clock for when to be awake and when to sleep) to work with your body, not against it.
1.) The bed is for sleep, the couch is for relaxing
After a long day of work or school, you look forward to lying on the bed to unwind and release the stress of the day. This is actually the last place you should be! By using your bed only for sleep your mind will begin to associate it with sleep instead of leisure.
2.) Create a nightly routine
A routine that works for you is one of the easiest ways to boost your productivity; this is especially true when it comes to sleep. Try this: do the same five or so activities before you go to bed every night and soon your brain will begin to associate these with sleep.
3.) Adjust the lights
Light is an indicator for the body and mind to be alert and awake. Starting after dinner, decrease your exposure to harsh lighting and blue light from electronics. This tells your body that it is nighttime and sleep is near. Your body will produce melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that helps control your daily sleep-wake cycles. By turning down the lights, your body will naturally become sleepy.
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About Our Author
Meghan Olson is a university student and volunteer at Her Nexx Chapter. She is a mental
health advocate and passionate traveler, writer, photographer, and learner. She is from
Minnesota and hopes to reach, inspire, and learn from women near and far by volunteering!