How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need?

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) typically recommends that people get anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night for anyone up to 65 years of age. For those who are 65 and older, they recommend getting anywhere from 7 to 8 hours. However, everyone sleeps differently so finding the optimal number is key.

Here Are Some Ways To Improve Your Sleep

  1. Come up with a bedtime routine

Try to maintain the same sleep schedule each day. You can do this by getting up at the same time each day. This includes the weekends when people normally attempt to ‘sleep in.’

  1. Relax before bed

You should also be looking to relax and unwind before bedtime. Ideally, you want to spend a minimum of an hour before you go to sleep doing something relaxing. You want to do something calming that is going to help you relax right before your head hits your pillow. If you do end up having trouble going to sleep, try to avoid clock watching. Instead, you want to get up from your bed and do something else until you get tired.

  1. Avoid using sleeping pills

You don’t want to take sleeping pills or anything to ‘help’ you sleep unless a doctor directs you to do so. If you do go towards sleeping pills, try to only use them for a short period before getting yourself addicted and dependent on them.

  1. Create a better sleep environment

You should be looking to create the ideal sleep environment. You want to do things to help optimize your bedroom to make it more conducive to falling and staying asleep. The best way to do this is by removing anything that could be considered a distraction or something that could prove to add temptation to keeping you up at night.

Your mattress should be comfortable and supportive, take a look at these Ikea mattress reviews if your mattress has seen better days.

Try to keep your bedroom as dark and quiet as possible. Also, you want to keep your room ‘cool’ enough in temperature that will help you fall asleep. You typically want to keep your ambient temperature around 15 to 20 degrees Celsius.

  1. Daytime tips

You should be maintaining a good and active lifestyle during the day. You want to engage in vigorous and intense physical activity during the daytime. This will help make you more tired throughout the day which can help you fall asleep at night. You should look to keep intense physical activity away from your sleep time.

  1. Avoid caffeine

You don’t want to take caffeine at all. If you do need caffeine to get you through the day, try to keep your intake in the morning. This way, you will be able to keep it from disrupting your sleep. You should also look to avoid alcohol before bed.

  1. Get natural sunlight

Natural sunlight is critical to ensuring you can optimize your sleep. This will help keep your body’s internal clock on-time.

For those who work night shifts, do the following:

  1. Wear dark sunglasses

You want to try to wear darker sunglasses to reduce exposure to sunlight while commuting home.

  1. Maintain your routine

Try to maintain the same routine even on off days.

  1. Use earplugs and eye masks

Both of these are essential if you are going to be getting your sleep during the daytime. You may even want to invest in blackout blinds or curtains

  1. Take short naps if needed.

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