50 years of sleep science has proven that less than 7-8 hours of sleep wrecks your mood, health, brain, and relationships. Here are five ways to get more sleep:
1. Start with 45 more minutes:
Take the pressure off yourself and just get 45-50 more minutes of sleep starting tonight. To make this super simple, go to bed 45 minutes earlier than you usually do. It might not seem like much, but this little bit of extra sleep will help start a new habit that could change your life.
2. Rest more during the day:
It’s ironic: find moments of rest and peace throughout the day and you’ll sleep better at night. That’s why meditators sleep better: they’ve learned to manage their mind and slow life down during the day. So try meditating 20 minutes a day. If meditation isn’t your thing, then take a nap or go for a peaceful walk for 20 minutes, focusing on your breath with each step.
3. Stop drugging yourself:
A lot of people can’t sleep because they’re drinking caffeine, eating sugar and whacking out their system with white carbs all day long. No caffeine after 3pm, and work hard to dramatically limit how much sugar and white carbs you consume.
4. Wind down:
Before sleep,, dim the lights in your house and turn off all the screens and technology. No browsing or social media or email in that last hour. Do some light reading or plan your day by journaling. No tech before bed.
5. Practice gratitude:
When you get into bed, calm your mind and emotions by focusing on taking 10 deep breaths and then asking yourself, “What am I grateful for in my life?” A happy heart rests well.
You deserve to get more sleep but you must make it a practice. With more sleep, you have greater creativity, decreased stress, and higher levels of engagement and enthusiasm throughout the day.
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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