Getting Enough Sleep
A How-To Guide

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Getting Enough Sleep

We might not need as much sleep as a hibernating bear, but if we're not getting enough sleep, then how can we expect to be able to wake up easy in the morning?

The equation just doesn't make sense, so today we're gonna attack the source of many people's troubles. Let's see

  • What we require when it comes to sleep
  • What happens if we don't get enough sleep
  • How to make sure we get enough sleep

The Sleep We Require

On average, we require the following amount of hours of sleep per night:

  • Infants - 16 hours
  • Teenagers - 9 hours
  • Adults - 7 to 8 hours (with extreme cases ranging from 5 to 10)

The average amount of sleep for Americans is just below 7 hours, so a little bit too short actually. Sleeping to less can give you some bad consequences in both the short and the long run. Let me explain.

What Happens Else

If you're not able to provide your body with the amount of sleep hours it requires, you will build a so called sleep debt. Just like having a bank debt, you will have to pay expensive interest for this:

  • Problems with your memory
  • Easier to get into depression
  • Harder to concentrate at work or in school
  • Weaker immune system leading to sickness
  • Will look tired and unhealthy

Unfortunately sleep is not something that you can save up and store for more hectic times. I know, that would be totally great :-) but in reality you must be getting enough sleep every day.

Even though sleep is critical for our health and happiness, around 40 percent of all Americans suffer from different sleep problems and disorders. Most people don't take any real action to improve their condition, but instead many experience heavy sleepiness during daytime.

Therefore, let's see what you can do to get enough sleep without sacrificing too much! It can be pretty easy actually. Let's go through these 8 methods.

How To Sleep Enough

1. Use a time-for-bed alarm clock

Getting enough sleep means that you have to go to bed at a reasonable time. Most of us have commitments at certain times in the morning, but in the evening it's up to ourselves to decide when to call it a day.

Have the courage to go to bed at the right time. And to remind you - set your alarm clock at e.g. 10.30 pm and then finish everything and brush your teeth so you can be in bed 15 minutes later. Now that's efficiency!

2. Do your most important tasks in the morning

If you want to avoid having to stay up late to finish something for work or school, then make sure you're able to prioritize. There's of course a certain limit to what you can produce in a single day, so my advice is to set your daily goal in the morning. Then focus on what's most important and do not procrastinate under any circumstance ;-) I know it's hard, but it will pay off with less stress and better sleep.

3. Unplug the TV at 10pm

"I just want to finish this movie...". Does that sound familiar? It's so easy to get stuck in front of the TV while you actually are losing precious sleeping time. Instead, step up and do what's best for your life.

4. Get away from the computer

The computer is another incredibly sticky machine that we just want to spend few more minutes with. Same goes here, we have to learn that we can always continue tomorrow. The thought of having to finish something right now is just in your head.

5. Exercise and get tired

This one might sound a bit odd about getting enough sleep, but hear me out here =) If you have performed some type of workout or heavy work during your day, you will be much more likely to want to go bed on time. You will probably feel that you really need this rest to recover.

And the other positive thing is that people that exercise regularly get more energy and don't require as much sleep in the long term. Great, huh!

6. Send home your friends

Sometimes you'll have to be a bit rude to your friends... If you're having someone over for dinner or if you're out having fun, there's an overwhelming risk that you'll lack sleep the next day. I mean, we gotta live and have fun so of course it's ok to sacrifice a few nights, but in general, don't drag out on the fun. Instead make sure you are proactive for the upcoming day or you might end up feeling miserable...

7. Make it a routine

A surefire way to getting enough sleep is to practice it every day. With that I mean that you should form a habit for going to bed and for waking up. This way, your body will have an easier time to falling asleep quickly and you'll wake up more alert. Then just make sure there's enough hours in between for you to get some quality sleep.

8. Create a not-to-do list

The main reason for why so many lack sleep is that we go to bed too late. And the reason why we go to bed too late is because we have a lot to do, as I mentioned above. But not all we do is that important, so I actually use a NOT-to-do list to make sure I stay on track. This type of list can include things such as:

  • Don't check Facebook after 10pm
  • Don't start any new activity after 10pm
  • Don't check emails more than 5 times per day
  • Etc. etc.

So with all these methods in your arsenal, I believe you are ready to tackle this issue once and for all. Remember the feeling of waking up totally rested and fresh? That can actually happen every day if you really become the master of your sleep. There's no substitute for getting enough sleep and it's one of the best ways to making it easier to wake up in the morning.

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Thanks for reading! By Matthew M. McEwan

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