Roughly 33% of Americans don’t get enough sleep every night. Are you one of them, sleeping less than 7 to 8 hours? While there are people who can thrive on fewer hours, most of us regularly need that much. We also need to sleep well when we do sleep, and not fitfully wake up.
Sleep deprivation can negatively affect your life overall, including your job performance, your interactions with your colleagues, and even your ability to drive to work safely. You may make more mistakes when tired or easily become frustrated with coworkers.
If this describes you, you need to get more sleep or a better night’s sleep. Here are some tips.
Watch your caffeine intake.
Caffeine can perk us up! That’s why so of us many want coffee first thing in the morning. Caffeine is found in coffee, some teas, and caffeinated sodas.
It’s fine to drink caffeinated beverages, but caffeine later in the day can make you too wakeful to fall asleep quickly. Don’t drink it after noon, and you’ll find falling asleep easier. (Or, if you’re on a night shift, roughly 9 to 10 hours before you want to fall asleep.)
Set a consistent sleep schedule.
Often, folks don’t get enough sleep because they didn’t get to bed at an hour where they could have gotten 8 hours or couldn’t fall asleep.
The best remedy is to set a consistent schedule when you’ll go to bed. Don’t be tempted by video games, late-night shows, or anything else. Play or stream them later! Your body will respond if you consistently go to bed at 10 p.m., for example, even if the first few days are hard. Once a schedule is set, it becomes a habit.
Some reasons you can’t sleep are simple. Maybe your children are playing loud music, or light from a neighbor’s window is shining in your eyes. Loud noise and light make it hard to fall asleep, or even impossible!
If you are faced with distractions like this, you need to get rid of them. Talk to people about loud noise or light if you can. But if it’s a situation, you can’t fix yourself, protect yourself. Get earplugs so you can’t hear the noise. Buy a sleep mask or shades to wear so light doesn’t bother you.
Put your smartphone down.
A surprising number of people can’t sleep because of their smartphones. Many of us take our smartphones to bed or have them right next to us on a nightstand. The temptation to use the phones is very significant – check texts, social media, play games, or more. Plus, phones emit a light that can prevent us from falling asleep.
You know the solution. Put your smartphone out of your reach at bedtime. It needs to be in a place where you’d have to get up to reach it.
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