“Money can buy a bed but not sleep” Anon
I’m still slowly tackling my hierarchy of needs to make sure I am who I want to be during my journey to FI.
Next is my favorite and worst one sleep! I’m sure It never used to be so complicated. You went to bed when you were tired and that was pretty much the end of it. Then I found once you have mental health problems (and possibly those without) it becomes a mine field.
You make yourself worse by not getting enough sleep, but that’s also just as bad as having too much sleep. How are you supposed to know how much is just enough?
On my quest to find out my perfect amount of sleep I have become Goldilocks in order to find out which one is “just right”
How much sleep do you need?
The million dollar question (for me anyway) Apparently the amount of sleep you need varies only slightly between person to person. Most healthy adults need between 7 – 9 hours.
So that’s easy and the whole questions answered right? there’s my answer and why was it so hard. Well that’s because it matters more about the quality of your sleep opposed to the hours you get in…. I’m starting at the beginning….
Why you need sleep
Sleep helps you recover from illness and boosts your immune system. While your sleeping your body builds and repairs itself by making new tissue. It also gives you energy.
Ah my biggest hurdle at night is to actually turn my mind off! Sleep helps you work through the days events and make sense of them. It helps your brain recover and revive itself. Your brain takes this time to store your memories and create new ideas.
Sleep restores your mental and emotional well being helping you be ready to face the next day. It helps your mind unwind and de-stress.
What is good quality sleep?
Unhealthy daytime habits and how you fall asleep all affect the quality of your sleep. Nodding off whilst checking your emails on your i-pad will inevitably lead to poor quality sleep. Similarly if you nap in the day but then fail to be active afterwards, that will lead to poor quality night time sleep.
There are a few tips for improving the quality of your sleep:
- Go to sleep and get up at the same time everyday
- Avoid sleeping in – even on weekends
- Fight after dinner drowsiness with something mildly stimulating so you don’t fall asleep before your bedtime.
- Control exposure to light
- Workout in the day
- Don’t drink caffeine before bed
- Use a bedtime routine for sleep
How to sleep well
- Create relaxing environment and a bedtime ritual.
Much the same way babies have a bedtime routine, its very useful for the brain to have a set pattern that it associates with the wind down before sleep.
- Deal with worries and those little things that pop into our brains right before sleep. I’ve heard people use a notebook to write everything down before they sleep so they can tackle it all tomorrow.
- Look at your lifestyle.
No big meals or energetic exercise! You could be doing things right before bed that stop you sleeping.
So I still don’t have the magic number of hours I need but I know the steps I need to take to make sure I get the right amount of good quality sleep for me. How well do you sleep?