You bite into a sandwich in your car seat rather than at the breakfast table, you check mails on your smartphone while walking down the aisle of your office… you slip into an escalator to reach the second floor even when you can hop and jump the staircase to reach there and you say “Hey Google…find me…” when you want to unravel an economic theory you heard from your boss rather than refer to Adam Smith.
And all this in an attempt to save every passing second. Yes…welcome to the world of formula one racing where we have pressed the accelerators of our life to attain ultimate speed and save every extra second which we can further invest to save another second.
In this hustle and bustle race from the womb to the tomb, can you afford to snore away eight hours in blissful sleep? It sounds a luxury and more so grave wastage of pricey time.
But what about the somber talks of our wellness gurus who suggest that sleep is the ultimate wellness mantra and that a long restful sleep is the best dose of relaxation we can offer to our bodies.
Well, this mantra could surely work well a decade back but not now. It has been clinically proven that one can rise fresh and rejuvenated even after a short sleep or rather without completing the conventional eight hours of sleep.
Sleep is a very personal practice that each one of us follows. Our sleeping habit grossly depends upon how we have conditioned our bodies to accept sleep since childhood. You indulge in long hours of sleep and your body soon accepts it as a necessity whereas if you condition it to only 5-6 hours of quality sleep, it will soon understand that this is all it has on offer.
But can you actually cut down on sleep without compromising with the benefits that a long restful sleep brings along? Can less be really MORE?
The answer is YES it can be…but only with a little practice and perseverance. Let us see the changed mantras of Sleep LESS and Stay FRESH.
Mantra#1: Focus on Quality not Quantity
For decades we have believed that a quality sleep is one where you leave bed after 8 hours of hitting the pillow. But the fact is it is not always true. What if out of those 8 hours you spend the first couple of hours turning, twisting and changing sides or wake up after every couple of hours to check the alarm clock? Well, it is not quantity but quality on which you need to focus.
By quality we mean that no matter how many hours you sleep, it should be sound, deep, peaceful and completely serene to actually bestow your body with the rest and restoration needed.
Can you condition your body to achieve such quality sleep every night? Yes, of course you can but only when you learn to enroll these healthy tips in your lifestyle.
- Stop your meals 2 hours prior to going to bed. Going to bed on a full stomach can make you feel lousy and trigger acidic reflux which can affect the quality of your sleep. To gain quality sleep try sleeping on your left side.
- Choose a dark, quiet and well ventilated room. Too much noise or light can put your sleep off.
- Check the temperature of your bedroom. Too hot or cold temperatures can adversely affect sleep. Fresh air flowing into your bedroom can truly accentuate your sleeping experience.
- Take a bubble or warm bath. It pampers your body and sends across a message of relaxation to the brain.
- You can listen to some soft tunes which can soothe your nerves and slowly transform you into the world of sleep.
- De-clutter within and without. This means that you not only need to de-clutter the sleeping area but also your mind of all the day’s baggage that it may be carrying.
- If possible, meditate for a few minutes before you sleep. This acts as a stimulus encouraging the brain to understand that it is time to sign off for the day.
Mantra#2: Practice, practice and practice till it becomes a habit
As per a study conducted in 2009, it takes on an average only 66 days to change an action into a habit. Hope, you picked up clues from there. Yes, practice to cut down your sleep day by day till it is naturally adopted by your body like a habit.
And how do you do that?
Simple…Push your alarm clock back by 5 minutes every day. When you do this every day, though initially you may not succeed, therefore we presume that at the end of the first week, you will wake up at least 15 minutes earlier than your previous wake up time. However, stick to same time at which you go to bed. Remember, our aim is to reduce the sleep hours not change the sleep timings.
Keep practicing this habit till you achieve the wake up time that you are targeting.
Gradually, as you condition your mind to early rising, you will see the holistic change that it brings about. You will not only become a natural early riser, passing your alarm clock in the store carton, but also start feeling more fresh, rejuvenated and full of life to take the world head on.
It has been widely accepted that early risers are more productive people, not only because of the extra hours they put into work but also because their body soaks in the early morning glory leaving them completely charged to face the day ahead.
So, here we discussed two simple mantras that can change your age old perception of quality sleep. Indeed, forty winks can also give you the pink of health… and so pink that any wellness maniac following the eight hours sleep rule can turn green. No wonder we say…Less is More!
My name is Ashley Hayes and I am the editor in chief at SleepHeavn. It has been almost a decade since, I was first diagnosed with Insomnia. But believe me since then I have absorbed myself in this intriguing world of sleep. Over the years, I have researched about sleep, talked to experts, read hundreds of journals and talked to family and friends to collect their experiences about sleep, sleep products and all that affects sleep.