Needing 8 hours of sleep a night is a fallacy.
It is a common misconception that every person needs at least 8 hours of sleep per night to be well rested. However, that is like saying that the average height for men is 6 feet. But not all men are 6 feet tall.
We are all individuals and the latest research shows that sleep requirements can vary from anywhere between 5 and 9 hours. All it takes is a bit of monitoring your own sleep patterns to find out how much sleep is best for you.
If you are constantly tired, you may think that you need more sleep. On the other hand, too much sleep can make you feel tired.
Personally, I find that the more I sleep, the more tired and lethargic I am the next day. I wake up feeling on top of the world after 8 or 9 hours asleep but spend the rest of the day feeling like I’m wading through water.
A little experiment showed me that my ideal sleep duration is 6 hour and 45 minutes. Some days I need a little more – like after completing a 20km run or running a whole-day workshop.
But anything less than 6 hours, and I’m left feeling like I need more sleep. Honestly, even after 6 hours sleep, I’m not exactly pleasant when I first wake-up. It takes me a few minutes to get going but then I keep going the entire day.
Recently, I took on a new client who was young and healthy but felt he lacked energy. When I asked about his sleep, he told me he was sleeping for 10 hours a nights and waking late. I recommended cutting it down to 8 hours and waking earlier. His energy has increased to 7/10.
Expert Tip: Experiment by sleeping for varying durations.
Remember that the quality of your sleep will be reflected throughout the next day and not only in the morning. Get the best sleep possible on Australian foam mattresses.
Establish A Routine Sleep Pattern
One of the key factors that affects sleep quality is regularity. Your body’s internal clock (called a circadian rhythm) tells you when you need to sleep and when you need to wake-up – among other bodily functions. A complex cycle of hormones, neurotransmitters and other functions control this circadian rhythm. Your brain and body start preparing for sleep way before you even realize that you are tired.
If you keep changing the time you go to sleep and wake-up, your circadian rhythm gets confused resulting in a constant state of feeling jet-lagged.
Expert Tip: Try to get to sleep before midnight. From my personal experiences, sleepiness passes after midnight and it gets harder to fall asleep.
Sleep Aids And Gadgets
There are a variety of different gadgets and apps available that profess to aid sleep. I think I have tried most of them. While many of them are simply gimmicks, some can be useful.