Are you chronically sleep deprived?
Wait… before you answer, ask yourself these three questions:
Do I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow?
Do I need an alarm clock to wake up?
Do I sleep extra hours on the weekends / my days off?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these, it’s likely you’re not getting enough quality sleep according to noted sleep researcher Dr. James Maas.
Even if you believe you’re sleeping 7 or 8 hours every night you may actually be sleeping as little as six hours according to a study out of the University of Chicago.
Besides daytime drowsiness, fatigue from this hidden form of chronic sleep deprivation also makes concentration difficult, adds to irritability and increases your risk for accidents.
But when you get to the root of the matter, not getting enough sleep really boils down to just one or more of these three reasons.
#1 Can’t Get to Sleep
According to Dr. Maas, well-rested individuals should normally take 15-20 minutes to fall asleep. But if you spend hours lying awake in bed you’re only going to suffer in the morning.
Here are steps you can take today to avoid some of the biggest culprits that might keep you awake after going to bed tonight:
- Avoid stimulants like caffeine after 2pm
- Reduce “blue light” exposure which tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime by avoiding electronics (TV, computer, iPad) for at least an hour before going to bed
- Reduce stress and anxiety (try reading a book – the old-fashioned paper kind – to wind down)
- Avoid strenuous exercise within 3 hours of bedtime (best time to exercise is late afternoon / early evening)
- Avoid heavy meals within 3 hours of bedtime
#2 Can’t Stay Asleep
Getting to sleep may be half the battle, but staying asleep is essential for good rest. Your body follows a sleep cycle designed to help your brain improve its problem solving abilities, store long-term memories, stimulate body development and tissue repair.
Sleep experts say even six hours of continuous sleep is better than eight hours of interrupted sleep. That’s because the longer you remain asleep, the more time you spend in the restorative REM and deep sleep cycles.
Try these tips to help you stay in dreamland longer once you fall asleep:
- Sleep in comfortable – or no – clothes
- Turn down the thermostat – a cooler room leads to better sleep (Ideal temp: 65°F)
- Invest in a better mattress
- Lay off the liquids for a couple hours before bedtime to keep your bladder from waking you for a late-night trip to the bathroom
- Take steps to eliminate light and noise pollution from your bedroom (sleep with a facemask and earplugs if you must)
- Quit smoking – nicotine cravings can wake you during the night
- Avoid alcohol within 3 hours of bedtime – contrary to popular opinion that alcohol helps you sleep better, it can actually cause you to wake up every 90 minutes during REM sleep
More Help For Those Not Getting Enough Sleep
If you’ve been struggling with sleep issues for a long time, you may need a little extra help to overcome your sleep deficit and return to normal sleeping patterns.
That’s when many will turn to sleeping pills. But that’s taking a huge risk. Sleeping pills can create dependencies, making your sleep problem worse the longer you use them. Not to mention potentially severe side effects.
Instead, try a natural sleep aid. Herbal sleep remedies work by promoting your body’s natural sleep processes instead of chemically enforcing them. And, of course, they’re non-addicting and far safer than their drug counterparts.
While many natural sleep aids have good ingredients, they only work as well as your body can break them down and use them. That led us to formulate our own natural sleep aid with a special enzyme blend to ensure the natural ingredients that promote sleep are broken down, absorbed and used by your body to help you sleep better.
We feel it’s the most effective natural sleep aid on the market today. But that’s not what matters. What matters is whether or not it works for you. Which is why we’re offering every one of our readers a free bottle of our all-natural Sleepzyme® for as long as supplies last.
Ask for your free bottle today… and start enjoying a better night’s sleep each night!
Maas B, Robbins R. Sleep for Success: Everything You Must Know About Sleep but Are too Tired to Ask. 2010.
Written By: Updated: December 27,2012