Getting quality sleep for lesser hours is an underrated skill. As you grow, it is easy to get swamped with responsibilities at the expense of your beauty sleep. Still, this is no excuse to operate in zombie mode.
Sleeping 8 hours in 4 hours calls for intentional and mindful habits. They include avoiding coffee before bed, avoiding electronic screens at least one hour before sleep, taking a warm bath, and choosing quietude.
Often, we get advice from experts on why we should sleep for at least 8 hours. Yet, there are times when you do so but wake up feeling tired and grumpy. So, what are you doing wrong? Why the contradiction?
Here are valuable tips on how to cut your sleep time in half without compromising on sleep quality;
Relax your Mind, Body, and Soul
There is a statement that holds that you require peace to sleep. Before your physical body falls asleep, you ought to work on it from the inside out. A relaxing bedtime routine will do. Here are habits and activities that will put you into relaxation right before sleep;
Practice Meditation Before Bed
Meditation helps relax your nerves, mind, and body for a quality night’s sleep. According to Happiful.com, meditation proves to assist individuals fall asleep twice as fast. In addition, it helps preserve deep sleep.
Meditation also aids you to center your thoughts after a long day. It triggers the production of serotonin and melatonin, the famous sleep hormone. It also prompts a parasympathetic response that relaxes your body and mind in preparation for quality sleep.
Do Yoga Before Sleep
Light exercises like stretches and yoga calm your system in preparation for sleep. For instance, the butterfly pose allows your muscles to relax while soothing your whole body. Deep-breathe while concentrating on the body motion sedates your mind.
Take a Warm Bath
A warm bath before bed relaxes your nerves and muscles by increasing blood flow. It relieves any stress and helps set you in a wind-down mood. Avoid cold baths before bed as these will awaken your system, which is counteractive in this case.
Read a Book in Bed
Reading in bed is an effective way of stress relief and cooling off after a long day. According to research, 6 minutes of daily reading can lower stress by up to 68 percent. When sleep overpowers you, just put it aside and sleep away.
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Avoid Electronic Screens At least One Hour Before Bed
Using a smartphone, laptop, or television right before bed harms your eyes and system. These electronic gadgets emit blue light that harms your eyes. In addition, the blue light may tamper with melatonin production, which is the sleep hormone. You struggle to sleep even after slipping into those warm, cozy sheets.
Furthermore, using electronic gadgets such as smartphones and television occupies your mind. These gadgets will keep giving you unwarranted information that delays your sleep. For instance, you could be watching a cooking video on YouTube. 2 hours later, you find yourself watching videos on how to pet a snake.
The use of electronic devices right before bed also delays REM sleep. You might come across something online that will preoccupy your mind. It could be excitement, terror, sadness, pity, or even joy. Even after going to bed, it is hard to block these reactions right away. Avoid using such gadgets at least one hour before bedtime to give your brain enough time to relax.
Have Light and Healthy Meals During Supper
Having heavy meals right before bed will trigger your digestive system to do the work. These may make it hard for one to fall asleep immediately. It gets worse when the food you take requires more effort during digestion. To avoid overstimulating your digestive system, opt for light and healthy meals. These are both easy to digest and nourishing for your system.
Avoid Having Coffee or Taking Tea Before Bed
While tea or coffee before bed has shown to help some people have a great sleep, it is not always true. The stimulant present in tea and coffee is known as caffeine.
If you are sensitive to caffeine, please avoid taking tea or coffee before bed. Caffeine interferes with the sleep hormone, making your brain alert. Once you encounter insomnia, it tampers your ability to sleep together with your sleep cycle.
Avoiding coffee or tea will aid in having a calming time before bed. In return, you get quality sleep as your system has no stimulants.
Avoid Taking Alcohol Before Bed
Taking alcohol before bed is not only bad for your sleep but also dangerous to your health. While taking alcohol may lead to sedation and prompt feelings of relaxation, continuous use has adverse effects. It can result in difficulty in breathing during sleep and inhibition of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. As a result, you get poor-quality sleep.
Set a Conducive Bedroom Environment for Quality Sleep
You have to set the mood in the room in preparation for quality sleep for only 4 hours. Do the following to set yourself up for success;
Clear any Clutter in Your Bedroom
Your room should have space for free movement and proper aeration. Remove any dustbin, excess clothing, excess storage, books, and even furniture. Transforming your bedroom into a pantry will only distract you when you need to sleep.
Have A Comfortable Bed, Mattress, and Bedding
Ensure that your bed is of good quality and in a good state. A bed that squeaks distracts you and ends up upsetting your sleep. Also, shop around for a mattress that is comfortable, robust, and breathable. Remember to use bed sheets and duvets that are comfortable on your skin, breathable, and cozy as well.
Pick Room Colors that Are Conducive for Sleep
According to the psychology of colors, different colors evoke different emotions and attitudes. For instance, neutral colors like white and cool colors such as lavender, light blue, and grey encourage sleep. They do so by lowering one’s blood pressure and heart rate and encouraging sleep. On the other hand, bright colors like red promote your alertness, discouraging sleep.
Avoid LED Lights Before Sleep
LED lights release blue light, which affects the production of melatonin. It is a hormone responsible for sleep control. It may make you struggle to find sleep. In addition, it could alter your sleep cycle where you struggle to wake up when you should.
Moreover, red and white LED lights to cause migraines. Sometimes, these are made worse by the flickering lights present in most LED lights. They may lead to eye discomfort and headaches. As a result, you find a hard time falling asleep.
To have 8 hours of sleep in 4 hours, have darkness in your room beforehand. Pick curtains that block out light from outside when you draw them. Darkness excites your body to produce more melatonin, which will enable you to fall asleep sooner and have quality sleep.
Use a Humidifier
Using humidifiers before and during sleep helps reduce nasal and throat decongestion and dryness while promoting relaxation. It raises the humidity in the room. This may relieve stress or headache. In return, it enables you to fall asleep sooner, have a night of more restorative sleep, and wake up feeling energetic and refreshed.
Sleeping 8 hours in 4 hours requires one to value quality over quantity. Be intentional about practical things that will lead to quality and wholesome sleep in 4 hours. These entail having a relaxing nighttime routine and a conducive bedroom environment for quality sleep.
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