Sleep better, be better. Here are 5 things to know.
#1 Your iDevice is giving you bad sleep.
You’ve plumped up the pillow and turned out the lights. Suddenly, your iPhone flashes an update: Someone wants to buy your bag on Carousell! Resist the urge to reply, because anything which is (even mildly) exciting or mentally-stimulating is unconducive to sleep. Instead, read a relaxing book or watch a boring film (nothing with Vin Diesel in it, please). Better yet, reserve the bed and bedroom only for sleep: That means no Netflix, Instagram or, gasp, surfing the 8 DAYS website.
#2 All debts have to be paid, even sleep debts.
The average adult needs six to eight hours of sleep. Any less, and you’d be incurring a sleep debt. The good news is, this debt can be paid off by sleeping more the next day, taking a nap, or sleeping in on weekends. And while you can fend off the sleep loansharks for a few hours with caffeine, the debt eventually has to be paid.
#3 Surviving on very little sleep doesn’t make you a hero — it just makes you less efficient.
“I need very little sleep,” you boast. Don’t be too proud — depriving yourself of your six to eight hours is counter-productive in the long term, as it exacts a significant toll on your mental, emotional and physical health. Simply put, you become less effective, less efficient and increase your risk of serious diseases like heart disease, depression, diabetes and even early death. Yikes.
#4 Alcohol can make you sleepy — but it can also interfere with sleep.
While a glass or two or wine has been known to bring on the Z monster, alcohol can disrupt sleep. If you fall asleep in an alcohol-induced haze, you may conk out for a while, but may suffer from disturbed sleep during the second half of your sleep. Experts recommend avoiding alcohol too close to bedtime. Caffeine, of course, is a no-no — it can stay in your system for up to 12 hours. Also try not to go to bed hungry and avoid consuming too much fluids close to bedtime.
#5 Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
Why would anyone in his or her right mind wake up at 7am on Sunday? Well, it’s precisely this madness that gives you a quality sleep and a refreshed mind — a regular sleep schedule helps to anchor your circadian, or “biological”, clock and establish a consistent rhythm of sleep.