Is 7 hours 48 minutes the perfect length of time to sleep?
Three different ways to improve the quality of your sleep
Do we treat sleep with the respect we deserve? An interesting BBC article suggests not? How about this for a wake up call: Scientists from Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Manchester and Surrey universities warn cutting sleep is leading to "serious health problems"
Here's a personal observation about sleep. I'm not sure there is a one-size-fits-all perfect amount of sleep for everyone. But a surprising amount of people complain about how poorly they sleep, how tired they are, how often they wake in the middle of the night and can't drop off again. Many of those are open-minded about making some changes in the pursuit of better sleep. But many others aren't willing to look at some methods of changing that. It's almost like they want to carry on the same old way.
They should do something different, after all, as the experts say, cancer, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, infections and obesity have all been linked to reduced sleep.
There are plenty of ways to change and improve. Here's three.
- Switch off blue light late at night. The BBC article I mentioned has some interesting thoughts on this Essentially, the thinking is our computers and smartphones emit a light that makes our brains feel very awake. So switching off late at night can help. As the boffins put it. "Light is the most powerful synchroniser of your internal biological clock".
- Invest in a Jawbone UP bracelet It measures your sleep patterns. I've blogged more extensively about this here, but people who wear one seem to sleep longer and prioritise sleep better. I've found this (my sleep patterns for a recent week are below… an average of 7 hours 48 minutes… is that long enough? The answer I think is that everyone is different. It feels pretty good for me - you might like 9 hours a night, or you might be one of those strange wired creatures who is perfectly happy with a mere 4 hours a night). As you can see though, the jawbone gives you a lot of info, and that encourages you to think more about your sleep. They even now have a caffeine tracker.
- Use Sleep programs to help you drop off - including hypnosis and binaural beats. By occupying and distracting the mind, you can start to give yourself the rest you really need. There are loads of these online. I like this binaural beats app it's quite an interesting concept - getting the brain into a 'Delta' wave state. If you are interested, there are also some very effective programs in The Success Sanctuary. Subscribe, then pop your earphones in at night and you are good to go (to sleep).
If sleep is an issue, I hope that's some ideas for you to try something different.