Getting Enough Sleep

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

All of us know how important it is to make sure that we get enough sleep. However, how many of us can actually say that we, in fact, get enough sleep? There are some people who swear that getting anywhere between five and six hours of sleep a night is more than enough. However, nothing could be further from the truth. So, what is it then that prevents us from getting to bed on time?

For some people, the problem with getting enough sleep starts with the fact that they have trouble winding down at night. After a busy day at work or school, it seems like there is still so much left to do. From food shopping to washing clothes, washing dishes, folding laundry and checking emails...If anything, it seems as if there simply isn't enough time in the day to fit everything in that we need to. Additionally, we need to remind ourselves that there is more to sleep than what we do during the day. In fact, studies have shown that the more we 'think' at nighttime (or whenever it is that we are trying to go to sleep), the more difficulty we have getting to sleep.

There are also studies which suggest that not getting enough sleep can actually shed years off of one's life! Now, if that isn't something that will keep you up at night, I don't know what else will! This is all the more reason to make every effort to get your 'Zs'. So, what can you do? For starters, make sure that your bedroom is functioning solely as a bedroom. This means clearing all of the books out and even that desk that you do work at. You should never use your bed as a place to do work (especially for those of us who work at home). Even laundry should be folded elsewhere away from your bed. The only thing that your bed should be used for is sleeping. It's good to get your body used to this, this way it will automatically start to relax and prepare for sleep as part of a sort of ritual.

Renovating your bedroom to make it more sleep-focused can be fun. You can play with things such as lighting to make the lights more subdued. You shouldn't have any bright lights in your bedroom. Additionally, you should choose calming colors to help soothe your eyes. For example, you wouldn't want to paint your bedroom bright orange or even bright red because these are not colors that you will relax to. Furniture should be chosen with care as well. There is a saying that choosing things that are simpler is usually the way to go. The less clutter you have in your bedroom, the less things you will have to focus on. Also, less clutter is better for those who suffer from allergies as it will attract less dust and make the space significantly easier to clean.

Lastly, to really help soothe you into sleep, try bringing in a radio or cd player to play soothing nature sounds or a guided meditation. It can really work wonders!


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