When you head to bed, how many hours of sleep do you aim for? Are you trying to go for the standard 8 hours, do you get by with 5, or are you one of those people that try to sleep for as long as possible? Whatever your sleeping pattern is, there are most likely a few ways to optimise your sleep schedule so that you’re more likely to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the next day.
Contrary to popular belief, recommended amounts of sleep don’t make much sense. Everyone’s body is different and, as a result, everyone sleeps a different amount every night. There’s a reason why some people sleep in for many more hours than others, and there’s also a reason why everyone manages to get by with however much sleep they get. There could be lifestyle decisions or health issues that affect how much sleep you actually get, and it’s possible that you’re sleeping too little or too much.
There are a couple of ways that will help you get the right amount of sleep, but it takes a little trial and error and it does involve some experimentation. So to help you get the most out of your bedtime, here are a few tips.
Start with your bedroom
First of all, we need to remove any suspicion that it’s your bedroom that’s causing your lack of sleep. There are several issues that need to be taken care of before we can start experimenting with how much sleep you get each night. First of all, remove any kind of electronics in the room. For instance, if you find yourself lounging in bed at night watching late night television, then you want to remove the TV and watch all of your shows before bed. You want your body to associate sleeping with the bed, not films.
Next, visit a mattress comparison site like ChooseMattress and pick something that’s fairly expensive and meets your needs. We sleep on our beds for roughly a third of our lives, so make sure you’re not cheaping out and getting a budget mattress—your back will thank you in the future. Try to remember that your bed frame also matters.
The sleep experiment
So to start, set a baseline of around 7 hours. Set your alarm to when you want to wake up, count back 7 hours, then sleep at that time. Sleep means you’re in bed and already closing your eyes by the time that time strikes, so don’t delay it too much. If you manage to wake up on time consistently for a couple of days, then that’s your target bedtime. If you find yourself waking up consistently before your alarm, then you can reduce your sleep needed by around 10-15 minutes. If you find yourself snoozing more often, then add 10-15 minutes.
Keep repeating this process until you’ve completely grown used to a certain sleep time. It’s important to practice this experiment for at least a week until you’re comfortable sleeping and waking up at the same time. Remember a lot of sleep problems can be solved with a regular schedule that you stick to so that it adjusts your body’s inner clock. Sleeping the correct amount can solve everything from weight issues to managing your chronic pain, so make sure you’re sleeping the correct amount each night.