Do you wish you could sleep less so you could get more done?
A colleague asked me this question years ago. All I could think was that I love sleep!
He then explained this technique for getting less sleep so you could be more productive.
It goes like this…
You set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier than you normally get up. After one week, you set it for another 15 minutes earlier.
You continue to do this until you are down to four or five hours. Most of us can’t function with less than four hours of sleep, he says.
I need eight hours of sleep to function!
He was down to four hours of sleep and was quite proud of himself.
What was I missing? This didn’t sound appealing to me at all.
I understand the desire to get more done but is sacrificing sleep the way to achieve this goal?
Our bodies need sleep! Sleep benefits our immune system, metabolism, memory, learning, and overall health.
Lack of adequate sleep can impair your judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and could also increase the risk of serious accidents and injury.
Long term sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.
No thank you!
Yet, most of us aren’t getting enough sleep.
Every week, at least one client tells me they are not getting enough sleep.
We are a society that burns the candle at both ends, a nation where people stay up all night to study, work, or have fun.
Experts say this is not healthy.
Sleep affects EVERYTHING. Many illnesses and diseases can be improved simply by getting more sleep.
So, how do we do this?
Dr. Kirk Parsley is a sleep expert and advisor to the Navy SEALs (he is a former SEAL himself).
Dr. Parsley recommends 5 Tips to Fix Your Sleep:
1. Set Up Your Bedroom. Human beings, like all other living things on planet Earth, take cues from light. So your first order of business is to reserve your bedroom for two things: sleeping and snuggling. TV, email, even reading a book should be done in another room. Set up your room by blacking out the windows (every little crevice) and putting your alarm clock in a drawer so that when you turn out the lights, it is truly dark. This sends the message to your brain and hormonal system that it’s time for sleep.
2. Ritualize Your Routine. Just like when little kids are put in a bedtime routine (take your bath, put on your pajamas, read stories, etc.). Turn off the lights in the house, brush your teeth, put on your pajamas; do all of these things in successive order and THEN it is time to turn off the lights and go to sleep. Do this in the same order at the same time every night.
3. Add a Relaxation Technique. Adding a simple relaxation exercise—even just a few minutes of slow, deep breathing—is a nice addition to your sleep routine. Do some reserach on the benefits of meditation and find a practice that suits your needs. This will help you wind down and get yourself ready for sleep, and give a boost to the transition of your brain waves into the slower, synchronous waves of deep relaxation and ultimately sleep.
4. Supplement Intelligently. Some people see supplementation as a four-letter word, but when done appropriately, it can really work wonders. Dr. Parsley created a “Sleep Cocktail” that is composed of a combination of nutrients including vitamin D3, magnesium, tryptophan, and a small dose of melatonin, that was designed to replace bits and pieces that might be missing. Filling those nutritional needs helps allow the kind of restorative sleep we need to increase both performance and recovery.
5. Don’t Forget to Put the Basics to Work. Eat well and restore nutrient levels, get some exercise, and put your new pattern of sleep hygiene into a consistent practice. Do all that and we’ll probably have to find something else to talk about other than troubled sleep!
To learn more about Dr. Parsley and his Sleep Cocktail, visit http://www.docparsley.com.
How many hours of sleep are you getting? What strategies do you use? Please post in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!