sleepless in bed

How to Increase Your Sleep Time and Break the Sleeplessness Cycle

By Haley Hughes

sleepless in bed


It’s a weekly routine that most of us go through, wake up early from Monday to Friday for work and stay up late for more work, to finish some house chores, or to enjoy some downtime engaging in our socials. By Friday afternoon, all you want to do is sleep in the entire weekend to make up for lost shuteye.


Although the amount of required sleep varies from person to person, sleep experts agree that most of us need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep to stay in good mental and physical health. Unfortunately, a sizable number of people aren’t getting more than 6 hours of sleep every night. That is, according to The National Sleep Foundation more than half of the adults aged 25-55 do not get sufficient sleep on weeknights.

woman sleeping in  bed

 

 

But can sleeping in on the weekend repay a week's worth of sleep debt? Studies have shown that sleep debt can accumulate over extended periods and it can take more than 20 nights of shuteye to catch up.  Instead, some sleep experts believe in the merits of consistency and sticking to a sleep routine.


You’re probably so used to your sleep cycle and might find it difficult to overhaul your sleep habits in a single week. Here are a few tips you can follow to help you increase your sleep hours without having to repay your sleep debt on the weekends while getting work done both at home and in the office.

 

  1. Supercharge with a power nap - Although this may be unobtainable during the workweek, try to sneak in a power nap to replenish your energy.
  2. Slowly increase your overall sleep time - Start by sleeping at least 15 minutes longer every night and gradually increasing it until you establish a pattern of sleeping within the required 7-9 hours of sleep.
  3. Limit work at home - Stress can keep you up at night. Limit the work you bring home and stop any work-related activities an hour before bedtime to give your brain a break.
  4. Wear your blue light blockers - It can be hard to give up on your screen time. But for those of us who can’t give up our night-time gadgets, wear your blue light blocking glasses. Studies have shown an increase in melatonin levels even when gadgets usage remained the same. 

5. Shut off distractions - Turn off all devices at least 30 minutes before you hit the pillow to allow your mind and brain to naturally slow down and prepare for sleep. 

6. Be consistent in your sleep schedule - Treat weeknights and weekdays alike. Be consistent in your sleep schedule and avoid sleeping very early or very late nights during the week or on the weekends.


With these tips, hopefully, you will be able to break your sleeplessness cycle and establish a consistent sleep routine that will allow you to get the right amount of sleep required daily for you to function at an optimum level all day, every day.

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