The million-dollar question used to be, “How little sleep can I get away with?” In a world of multitasking and overachieving, we struggle to figure out just how “little” sleep we need to still function with “good enough” clarity of mind. Good enough clarity to get our job done, care for our family or even drive responsibly. How little sleep is needed to still function?
Conversations are shifting! With growth in the field of sleep science, the million-dollar question has changed from “How little sleep can I get away with?” to “How can I improve the sleep that I’m getting so that I can be my best self?”
So, what's the recipe for success?
Recipe for Happsy sleep:
Step 1: Get the right amount of sleep
The National Sleep Foundation assembled an expert panel to come up with age-specific sleep goals. Lack of sleep (defined as 6 hours or less) can have serious effects on concentration, memory, the immune system and even life span. Make your target sleep goal a priority so that all your daytime goals can be an attainable reality!
Step 2: Wake Happsy
We all have a circadian clock that controls the ebb and flow of important hormones in our bodies. There are many things that we can do to keep our day time/night time rhythm in check, specifically by surrounding ourselves with light during the day and avoiding light (including the blue light from TVs and computers) at night. Luis Buenaver, from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, adds that we should try to wake up at the same time every day to train our circadian clock. Of course, this will be much easier to do if we've slept comfortably for the right duration. But even if we're not quite there yet, it's interesting to think about our wake-up time just as seriously as our sleep time.
Step 3: Invest in your mattress
The number one sign of a bad night’s sleep is waking foggy and forgetful. Usually, we assume that this feeling is simply due to being tired. If you're sleeping on an uncomfortable or worn-out mattress, you are not going to get a good night's rest. A new mattress can be a big investment, but you will undoubtedly be rewarded by your better night's sleep.
Happsy is all about sleeping healthy and waking happy so that we can be our best selves. Let our “good enough” self be an idea of the past and take our best self, our rested self, our mentally acute self into the future.