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How To Feel Better With Less Sleep

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Treat Your Bed Like A Recharging Station

How to sleep less but feel fresh | 7 PM

Get rid of the temptation to treat your bed like anything other than a recharging station. You wont need books by your bed. You wont need fancy pillows . Your bed is a place to help you get from wake to wake in as little time as possible with optimum rest. If youre young like me the mattress wont be such a big deal. If youre over 40 youll want to make sure youve got a good mattress though.

Do Some People Need Less Sleep

If you don’t mind working late at night, you might naturally be a short sleeper.

Some people might scoff when others say they only need four to six hours of sleep each night, but for a percentage of the population, that’s the truth, says Dr. Allison Brager, Ph.D, performance engineer for Momentous.

Generally, high achievers tend to sleep less, Brager tells CNET. “If you look at US presidents, successful CEOs and military leaders, many report sleeping little but feeling fine and don’t need stimulants to stay awake,” she says. “Daily sleep needs fall along the bell curve like most physiological processes in nature. The average is eight hours of nightly sleep, but there are individuals who fall to the left or right due to genetic underpinnings.”

Scientists actually discovered a “short-sleep gene” in 2019. People with this gene naturally sleep less than 6.5 hours each night “without any apparent ill effects,” the National Institutes of Health reports. This discovery is, of course, a small piece of the big sleep puzzle, but it does prove that sleep needs are highly individual and influenced by genetics.

Snack Light At Regular Intervals

Depriving your body of some quality sleep should be compensated with good and healthy snacking at regular intervals, maybe after every two hours or so. Go in for light yogurt, fruits, nuts, or a granola bar. This gives you a decent feeling of fullness and holds you back from gorging at the lunch table or at dinner time. Small meals are also easy for your body to digest and give you a sense of lightness packed with energy. On the contrary, heavy meals leave you bloating and belching invariably pulling you down your chair and making you look sleepy or tired.

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Factors That Increase Slow

Factors that have shown to increase slow-wave sleep in the sleep period that follows them include intense prolonged exercise and body heating, such as immersion in a sauna or hot tub.

Studies have shown that slow-wave sleep is facilitated when brain temperature exceeds a certain threshold. Its believed that circadian rhythm and homeostatic processes regulate this threshold. An unusually low, short-term carbohydrate diet in healthy sleepers promotes an increase in the percentage of slow-wave sleep. This includes a production in the percentage of dreaming sleep , when compared to the control with a mixed diet. Its believed that these sleep changes could very well be linked to the metabolism of the fat content of the low carbohydrate diet. In addition, the ingestion of antidepressants and certain SSRIs can increase the duration of slow-wave sleep periods however, the effects of THC on slow-wave sleep remain controversial. Total sleep time in these instances is often unaffected due to a persons alarm clock, circadian rhythms, or early morning obligations.

A Deep Breathing Exercise To Help You Sleep

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Breathing from your belly rather than your chest can activate the relaxation response and lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels to help you drift off to sleep.

  • Lay down in bed and close your eyes.
  • Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
  • Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
  • Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
  • Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.

To follow along with a guided deep breathing exercise, .

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The Right Position For Sleep

When the body is positioned horizontally, you can immediately make out that your pulse rate drops. The body makes this adjustment because if blood is pumped with the same force, too much will go into your head, causing damage. The blood vessels which go upward are a finer arrangement compared to those going down. As they go up into the brain, they become almost hair-like, to a point that they cannot take an extra drop.

When you sleep, if you place your head towards the north and stay that way for 5 to 6 hours, the magnetic pull of the Earth will cause pressure on your brain because iron is an important ingredient in your blood. It is not that if you sleep this way you will fall dead. But if you do this every day, you are asking for trouble. If you are beyond a certain age and your blood vessels are weak, it can result in hemorrhages and paralytic strokes. If your system is sturdy, you may not sleep very well because there is more circulation in the brain than there should be.

If you are in the northern hemisphere, East is the best direction to keep your head when you sleep. Northeast is okay. West is alright. South, if you must. North, no. In the southern hemisphere, dont put your head to the south.

What Happens If I Don’t Sleep

Everyone’s experienced the fatigue, short temper and lack of focus that often follow a poor night’s sleep.

An occasional night without sleep makes you feel tired and irritable the next day, but it won’t harm your health.

After several sleepless nights, the mental effects become more serious. Your brain will fog, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. You’ll start to feel down, and may fall asleep during the day. Your risk of injury and accidents at home, work and on the road also increases.

To find out how to tell if you’re too tired to drive, visit the governments Welcome to THINK! website.

If it continues, lack of sleep can affect your overall health and make you prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Here are 7 ways in which a good night’s sleep can boost your health:

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How To Feel More Awake Begins With Sleeping Better

After understanding how sleep debt and circadian consistency impact wakefulness, itâs time to make the necessary changes to your bedroom, sleep schedule, and wind-down routine. If youâre wondering how to stay awake during the day, our alertness-boosting tips and nutritional guidelines can help you maximize your energy levels.

Once youâve realized you can overcome the obstacles to feeling more awake, productive wakefulness is just within your reach. The RISE app can help you turn that into reality by encouraging and sustaining practical, healthy habits for better sleep and energy management.

You Nailed The Sleep Cycle

How to Sleep Less and Feel Great

Its become common knowledge that we sleep in 90 minute cycles. During each one, we change between different levels of sleep mainly alternating between REM and NREM sleep.

Ideally, we want to wake up at the end of a cycle. This will give us the easiest transition between sleep and waking.

However. Waking up mid-way through a cycle can cause havoc. Its the difference between taking 2 steps up a ladder, or being violently pulled back up from a deep dark well of dreams.

If youve slept less but feel good, theres a chance you woke up bang on the end of a cycle. This is more likely if you woke up naturally, and not due to an alarm. This may feel miles better than getting more sleep, but being forced awake from a deep sleep.

The issue is that you continue to be awake.

What I mean by this, is that you may get off to a good start. But soon, the lack of sleep will catch up with you.

Coming out of sleep easily makes for a refreshed, wakeful morning. One filled with energy and wow! I feel great today!.

However, thats only temporary. After a few hours, your real tiredness levels will start to set in. And this is when your body starts to demand that you try to catch up on the missing sleep.

So just like the Circadian Rhythm, this may be a temporary feeling of wakefulness. Try to keep conscious of it as the day goes on.

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Why Is Deep Sleep Important

Deep sleep is important for consolidation of new memories, and is often referred to as sleep-dependent memory processing. Thus, individuals with primary insomnia will have impaired memory consolidation and wont perform as efficiently as normal patients when completing memory tasks following a period of sleep. In addition, declarative memory is improved with slow-wave sleep, and this includes both semantic and episodic memory.

A central model has been created on the assumption that long-term memory storage is promoted by interaction between the hippocampal and neocortical networks. Several studies have shown that, once subjects have been trained to learn a declarative memory task, there was a significantly higher density of human sleep spindles when compared to the non-learning control task. This occurs due to unconscious wave oscillations that make up the intracellular recordings from cortical and thalamic neurons.

How Can I Tell If I Have A Sleep Disorder

Sleep disorders can cause many different problems. Keep in mind that its normal to have trouble sleeping every now and then. People with sleep disorders generally experience these problems on a regular basis.

Common signs of sleep disorders include:

  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Still feeling tired after a good night’s sleep
  • Sleepiness during the day that makes it difficult to do everyday activities, like driving or concentrating at work
  • Frequent loud snoring
  • Pauses in breathing or gasping while sleeping
  • Tingling or crawling feelings in your legs or arms at night that feel better when you move or massage the area
  • Feeling like its hard to move when you first wake up

If you have any of these signs, talk to a doctor or nurse. You may need testing or treatment for a sleep disorder.

To learn more about sleep disorders:

Making small changes to your daily routine can help you get the sleep you need.

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If You Dont Feel Rested In The Morning

Everyone has a bad nights sleep every now and then, where you wake up feeling tired or exhausted. If you rarely or never feel rested in the morning, you may be experiencing short periods of wakefulness that youre not aware of, due to alcohol use, indigestion, or other issues.

You may also have a condition such as restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea. Try improving your nighttime routine and see if it helps you wake up feeling refreshed instead of tired.

But Is Enough Less Than We Think

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For years, sleep experts have been saying that adults should get seven to nine hours of slumber per night. Since eight hours is the sweet spot that falls right in the middle, its the number that most often gets recommended.

But some research suggests that plenty of people might do welland maybe even betterat the lower end of the spectrum. A study published last year inFrontiers in Human NeuroscienceVerified SourceNational Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience” class=”src-popup-link”> View sourcethat looked at the cognitive skills of 160,000 people found that more sleep lead to increased performance on spatial memory and matching tests. But seven hours seemed to be the cutoff sleeping for any longer didnt yield any additional brain boosts.

But thats just the beginning. In one 2002 study of more than a million adults ages 30 to 102, seven hours of sleep was found to be the healthiest amount. In fact, 7-hour sleepers were less likely to die from any cause compared to people who snoozed for more or less time.

Why might less sleep be better? Like getting too little sleep, sleeping too much is linked to health problems like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

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Create A Solid Meal Plan

You wont have energy without the proper fuel. Develop a meal plan consisting of three to five meals per day, striving to eat every three hours or so. For each meal or snack, focus on getting good protein , green vegetables and healthy fats from things such as cashews, almonds, flaxseed or coconut oil.

Sleep Deficiency And Disease Risk

If you experience continued sleep deprivation, you will develop a condition called sleep deficiency. This is a state in which you cannot make up the many lost hours of sleep. Sleep deficiency increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and even early death.

Several studies show that sleep deprivation is a risk factor for obesity. A Nursesâ Health Study found an association between those who slept the least and having the highest BMI and greatest weight gain. One reason may be a disruption in appetite hormones that regulate feelings of hunger versus satisfaction . Ghrelin levels rise while leptin levels drop with lack of sleep this can cause higher calories to be consumed due to experiencing strong hunger at the same time that one feels less satiated after eating. A preference for foods high in fat and carbohydrate has been observed. The risk of hunger also increases simply by being awake longer, which prolongs the time from the last meal eaten to bedtime. Insufficient sleep also can trigger the ârewardâ areas in your brain to crave high fat, high caloric foods.

Other effects of poor sleep include increased fat storage in the belly area, higher body mass index, poorer quality diet, and decreased insulin sensitivity. Interestingly, some studies have also shown that longer sleep times are also associated with developing belly fat compared with sleeping 7-8 hours a night.

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Resist Sugar Carbs And Processed Foods

Your tired body will crave an easily digestible and quick high, but with that high comes a gnarly crash, warned registered dietitian Maya Feller. “Skip the ultra-processed foods and beverages,” she advises. “They may sound good in the moment but will likely provide a rush of unsustained energy that may leave you more tired and hungry. It’s a cycle that your already tired body does not need.”

Wake Up With Cool Water

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A cool shower is invigorating, and can help you wake up energetically. Anecdotally, some people also feel that drinking cold water first thing in the morning helps them wake up more fully. Try having a cold glass of water before you reach for your first cup of coffee and see how you feel.

If you consistently need to sleep more than 8 or 9 hours a night, you may be oversleeping. This can be caused by a number of conditions, including depression, thyroid conditions, and heart disease. Some medications may also cause oversleeping.

Oversleeping is sometimes temporary, and may be your bodys reaction to an oncoming illness.

If you oversleep nightly for a prolonged period of time, it may be time to visit your doctor.

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You Disagree With What Is Being Said

This is another thing that makes you an inadequate listenerhearing something with which you disagree with and immediately tuning out. Then, you lie in wait so you can tell the speaker how wrong they are. Youre eager to make your point and prove the speaker wrong. You think that once you speak your truth, others will know how mistaken the speaker is, thank you for setting them straight, and encourage you to elaborate on what you have to say. Dream on.

Disagreeing with your speaker, however frustrating that might be, is no reason to tune them out and ready yourself to spew your staggering rebuttal. By listening, you might actually glean an interesting nugget of information that you were previously unaware of.

Tip : Wind Down And Clear Your Head

Do you often find yourself unable to get to sleep or regularly waking up night after night? Residual stress, worry, and anger from your day can make it very difficult to sleep well. Taking steps to manage your overall stress levels and learning how to curb the worry habit can make it easier to unwind at night. You can also try developing a relaxing bedtime ritual to help you prepare your mind for sleep, such as practicing a relaxation technique, taking a warm bath, or dimming the lights and listening to soft music or an audiobook.

Problems clearing your head at night can also stem from your daytime habits. The more overstimulated your brain becomes during the day, the harder it can be to slow down and unwind at night. Maybe, like many of us, youre constantly interrupting tasks during the day to check your phone, email, or social media. Then when it comes to getting to sleep at night, your brain is so accustomed to seeking fresh stimulation, it becomes difficult to unwind.

Help yourself by setting aside specific times during the day for checking your phone and social media and, as much as possible, try to focus on one task at a time. Youll be better able to calm your mind at bedtime.

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