How to sleep eight hours in four hours: Before you read further, it is important to note that there is no way one can cut eight hours of sleep into four. It is simply physically impossible. However, one can make the most out of those four hours and get such a quality rest that afterwards, it feels like eight.
Even though sleep needs vary according to age and individual, science proves that sleeping less than seven to eight hours every day is unhealthy and harmful to the human health. One needs quality sleep to boost the immune system. Quality sleep entails one that does not go below the approved threshold. Quality sleep has long lasting effects on life.
It promotes good mental wellbeing, enhanced physical health and assures the quality of life. It is desirable to note that the amount of sleep at night affects the mental and physical health of a person throughout the next day, therefore, if one doesn’t have a good night rest, there is a huge likelihood that he or she would be clumsy and groggy at work or school the next day. Quality sleep boosts the immune system, enhances productivity, creativity and innovation, brain function, emotions and psychology, fertility and controls weight gain. Sleep helps your body recuperate from the stress of the day and prepares you for the activities of the next day.
An important question is how can one determine if his or her sleep is of good quality. Simply evaluate how you feel during the day. If you feel energetic and alert all day till your bedtime, your sleep is of good quality. However, if it is the opposite (fatigue, irritability, mood changes, difficulty focusing etc.), it is time to change your habits and catch up on more sleep homie!
There are two stages of sleep: REM sleep known as rapid eye movement sleep and non REM sleep, and both serves an essential bodily function. Non REM sleep has three stages and they all play major roles in repairing the body’s muscle tissues, retaining and building muscle (which is beneficial to older people), and strengthening the immune system. REM sleep, on the other hand, refreshes the mind and is necessary for important brain functions like memory retention, learning, regulating ones mood, and brain development for young persons.
Accordingly, lack of sleep automatically means missing out on fundamental bodily processes meant to support the general body health. So if you get only 4 hours of sleep every night, it is very unhealthy and should be stopped.
From the above, it is clear that sleeping four hours everyday is not quality sleep. In such case, one is sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation is the condition of being kept awake and not getting enough sleep( maybe forcibly by someone or something else, or by a sleep disorder) to the point of noticeably lower alertness. People who sleep less than four to six hours per night are sleep deprived. It is common to refer to sleep deprivation as insomnia but there are a plethora of other sleep disorders that can cause the inability to have quality sleep.
Workable Tips On Getting Quality Sleep in a Short Time
To maximize those four hours of sleep, the following must be practiced:
1. Have a sleep routine: Make sure you sleep at a schedule. The goal is to have a specific time when you go to bed and wake up everyday. Constant change of sleep schedule can disrupt sleep quality by breaking the circadian rhythm. Sleep schedule also extends to weekends, public holidays and even vacations.
Maintaining a sleep schedule entails that when the alarm goes off, one jumps up immediately instead of laying on the bed procrastinating till it gets to morning. Another routine is playing background, ambient music and lighting incandescent candles before going to bed. This helps some people have a good rest while it does not work for others. One has to figure out the routine that works for him or her and stick to it.
2. Make your bedroom a haven: Your bedroom is your safe space so make it feel like one. Keep it as comfortable as possible. Ensure everywhere is dark and the lights are off so that when one is about to sleep, he or she is not kept awake. Make sure it is properly tided at all times to ensure maximum comfort. Clean the floors, shelves, and windows.
Ensure the mattress, pillowcases, blankets and other beddings are properly and constantly dry-cleaned. It keeps pests from infesting ones safe space and sets the mind only on the course of sleep. To also ensure a relaxed mind, one can go ahead to declutter or beautify the room to their taste, using dark materials that will not only ensure darkness at night but also regulate room temperature.
3. Feel relaxed or practice relaxing activities: By relaxing activities, i mean any activity that would put away from the mind, any extraneous thought or worry and zero the mind on the sleep to come. It is impossible to receive quality sleep if one is anxious, stressed, or worked up.
One is relaxed when the mind is free of tension or anxiety. It is very important to feel completely relaxed before you proceed to sleep on your bed. That way, when you eventually sleep off, you are able to slip into a deep sleep because your body and brain are already prepared for sleep mode.
4. Practice stretches: Stretches and light exercise are a great way to relax both the body and mind before you go to sleep, especially after a long stressful day.
Light exercises and stretches such as yoga, the downward dog or butterfly pose helps loosen up your muscles and relax the body, while deep breathing and focusing on body movement helps tranquilize the mind.
5. Practicing breathing exercises: This is very important for quality sleep. For this to be successful, the following must happen:
Clear the mind
Pull in positive thoughts
Focus on the breathing
Use light air fresheners if it will help your breathing
Maintain this for few minutes before sleep every night.
6. Read a book or write in a book: One of the major ways to relax and destress is to write in a book or read a book. It helps the body and mind relax! In fact, it has been proven severally by science. Research suggests that just 6 minutes of reading a day can reduce stress levels by a whopping 68%.
In this way, you work your eyes to the point that after you drop the book or turn off the television, it has no other choice but to shut off completely. You can also cuddle your spouse.
7. Avoid Computer, televisions and mobile devices screens: Most persons at work or school make use of computer systems, television, and telephone devices. After a day of being in front of your phone screen, computer screen, and Television screen, it is highly recommended that one should give the brain a well-deserved break from device screens. Putting away your devices an hour before one goes to bed can be really beneficial for the quality of your sleep.
Also see: How to become an intelligent student
7. Consult a doctor: This is particularly important where one is suffering a sleep disorder. The doctor is best suited to diagnose and recommend treatments for the ailments. Alternatively, the doctor can offer drugs that will help one sleep better at night. Drugs like melatonin, antihistamines etc. These drugs should never be self prescribed as it may be harmful to ones health at the point of taking them.
In addition to the above mentioned, the following can also be implemented:
Make the bedroom a noise free zone except for alarms
Wear comfortable night wear
Relax the muscles
Practice distraction techniques
Cut down on the caffeine intake
Take light food before bed every night
Avoid shift work or activities where one has to beat a deadline
These does not however warrant that one should totally dispense with the prescribed amount of sleep. Sleep time should only be cut short when there is a dire need for it.
Conclusion: The long term effects of low quality sleep are numerous: It increases the risk of hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, heart attack, obesity, infertility, stroke, depression and anxiety, psychosis etc. That is why it has been severally advised to get quality sleep. However, if one squeezes in four hours of quality sleep but the body is unable to function optimally during the day, the following can be implemented to stay agile at work or school:
Do wake up exercises
Eat energy boosting foods
Take a long shower
Consume lots of coffee
Have a protein snack
Take short naps during the day
Listen to upbeat music
Turn up the light
Go for a quick walk or stretch, and lastly,
Take a break.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.