Good night, sleep tight
As a night owl and lifelong insomniac those four little words were a major stressor in my life at one point. And then I started doing some research, and what I found was that almost everything I was already doing was perfect for me.
I find that if I can get between five and six hours of sleep, waking between 5 and 6 AM on my own, I am more productive, healthier and happier. For me that is a good night sleep, I simply don’t need eight hours of sleep.
Why the CDC says it’s important to get good night sleep
Sleep is important to public health, with sleep insufficiency linked to motor vehicle crashes, industrial accidents, occupational errors and health issues. When you fail to get a good night sleep you put yourself at serious risk for unintentionally falling asleep, nodding off while driving. Studies have shown drowsy driving is as dangerous as DUI.
If you’re experiencing sleep insufficiency, you’re also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.
What is a good night sleep
How much sleep you need varies between individuals and generally changes as you age. The National Institutes of Health suggests that school-age children need at least 10 hours of sleep daily, teens need 9-10 hours, and adults need 7-8 hours. According to data from the National Health Interview Survey, nearly 30% of adults reported an average of ≤6 hours of sleep per day in 2005-2007. In 2009, only 31% of high school students reported getting at least 8 hours of sleep on an average school night.
How to get a good night sleep
If you find that you’re at a sleep deficit and want to change things, here are a few tips to help improve your sleep experience.
- Sleep alone. That means get rid of the electronics in your bedroom. The television, computer, smart phones and other devices have to go.
- Control your environment. Make it cool, dark and quiet. 65 to 70° is the optimal temperature to allow your body to go into a restful state for sleep. If you need to close doors, pull blinds or use an eye mask to make the room darker then make it happen. And if you can’t control the sounds around you, try a white noise machine, soft relaxing music or earplugs.
- Aromatherapy. Using aromatherapy to anchor good sleep habits is something I’ve done for many years. By doing this, no matter what environment I’m in – from a friend’s guestroom to a noisy hotel room – when I smell eucalyptus and mint pillow spray it automatically puts me in a state to prepare for sleep.
- Try something hot. If you take a hot bath immediately before going to bed your help your core body temperature drop which may in fact allow for deeper sleep state. Pairing it with aromatherapy like lavender, chamomile, bergamot, frankincense or rose will intensify that relaxed feeling.
- Get consistent. If you’re able to pick a consistent bedtime, create a bedtime ritual, and settle in for a few minutes before you’re ready to sleep you can start anchoring the state of relaxation with the intention of sleep.
And if you’re still having trouble sleeping I have a great meditation you might like to try. CLICK HERE and check it out, and don’t forget to let me know how it works for you.
What do you do to catch your z’s?