Quality sleep is the foundation to having productive days. But there is a whole lot of talk going around about catching up on 8 hours of sleep in 4 hours and whether or not it's possible. But the bigger question here is should you aim to sleep for less than 8 hours, and if you do, does it take a toll on your body? Wouldn’t it be great to get answers to some of these questions?
Learning about our bodies and sleeping patterns can help us understand what works for us and what doesn’t. So, without wasting another moment, let's take a look at this million-dollar question,‘ How to sleep 8 hours in 4 hours?
Is Sleep Essential? If so, why?
Sleep is an absolute essential for all human beings. While the number of hours of quality sleep necessary is different for individuals in different age groups, there is no denying that proper sleep is important to lead a healthy life. On average, an adult must sleep for 7-8 hours every night to be able to function properly and complete our day-to-day chores.
Now, let's go ahead and answer the question at hand, how to sleep 8hrs in 4hrs? The answer is that you cannot achieve 8 hours of sleep in 4 hours. For complete rest, our body needs a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep. This is because our body goes through different stages of sleep involving different cycles and this is essential to ensure you feel refreshed and rejuvenated the next day.
What are the side effects of sleeping less or looking upon ideas like ‘how to sleep less’?
When our body doesn’t get the desired amount of sleep, it starts to become sluggish. You might be fatigued all day, low on productivity, and have reduced immunity. You are also at risk of developing health issues such as migraine, hypertension, high blood pressure, headaches, weight gain, lack of concentration and a host of other health issues.
What is a sleep cycle and how does it work?
A sleep cycle contains 4 stages and 2 phases. The first three stages are completed in the first phase which is Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM). This phase starts when you fall asleep where there are higher chances of you waking up or moving during your sleep. During this phase, you will go from being alert to falling asleep properly and start getting deeper into your sleep. The second phase is called Rapid Eye Movement, and this is a phase where you start to get dreams. During our 7-8 hours of sleep, the entire cycle repeats about 4-6 times.
How to improve our sleep quality?
Now that we know how important sleep quality is and what the lack of the same can do to us, let us look at some ways that can help us sleep better.
1. Try to relax before you sleep
When you are anxious, or worried about the tasks at hand, it is almost impossible to fall asleep. Therefore, you must think of activities that calm your mind before you hit the bed.
Practising meditation or breathwork before you sleep can help you calm down and lower the stress caused by the chores of the day.
Yoga stretches before sleep can help you with your flexibility as well as make you feel relaxed before you sleep.
More often than not, we avoid this activity. However, reading before bedtime can make you fall asleep faster than you know.
This is one of the best ways to end your day. You can write anything under the sun topics such as how your day went, what tasks have been completed, what you look forward to in the coming days, your goals, dreams etc are common ones.
Some teas actually help you fall asleep better, look for those and have a cup of tea before bedtime.
Taking a shower before bedtime can not only make you feel relaxed and relieved, but it can also help you sleep better.
2. Avoid electronics before sleep
Watching a screen before bedtime can in fact delay your sleep and cause strain to your eyes. The light emitted by our gadgets is not always safe for our eyes, therefore, it is better to leave our devices in another room or avoid using them an hour prior to bedtime.
Use a traditional alarm clock
Try purchasing an analogue clock or a digital alarm to wake you up, you will notice how much of a difference that makes. Traditional clocks do not allow you to scroll in the morning and they have a distinctive sound that makes you get up from the bed and hit the shower at all costs.
3. Create your own sleep environment
You know what helps you sleep better at night, so make an attempt to create the best environment for you. Get the air conditioner or fan to the right temperature. Put down the curtains, get a comfortable mattress, pillow and a comforter to go with it, shut the bed lamp or lights and then hit the bed. You will be surprised to know that superior quality mattresses and pillows can do wonders when it comes to providing quality sleep. Memory Foam pillows and premium mattresses from SOLARA are your perfect bedtime pals.
4. Avoid any liquids
It is always better to consume liquids 2-3 hours prior to sleep time. This is because it is not always easy to fall asleep when you wake up mid-sleep to use the restroom. Hence, avoid consuming liquids right before sleep as much as you can.
Frequently Asked Questions :
1) Is it true that adults sleep less than teenagers on average?
Yes. On average, adults require 7-8 hours of sleep and teenagers require about 8-10 hours of sleep.
2) Do my food habits have anything to do with my sleep?
Yes, your food habits do have an effect on your sleep. It is recommended to eat 2-3 hours prior to sleep so your body has ample time to digest the food.
3) How to get through the day if you slept for a short duration
The best way to tackle this would be to start off with a light workout of flexibility stretches in the morning. During the course of the day, try to remain on foot and consume healthy snacks for a regular duration. If you get a chance, see if you can catch a quick nap.
Sleep is imperative for the proper functioning of the mind and body. Lack of proper sleep can cause a ton of health problems and reduce our concentration. To improve our sleep quality it is good to invest in quality mattresses and pillows so we can get a comfortable sleep. It is also important to pay attention to our food habits and screen time during the course of the day. A minimum of 8 hours of sleep is a must for experiencing a productive day.
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