Ways to Avoid Sleep Deprivation

Squeezing in the necessary hours for a solid night’s sleep can be a challenge. Take a look at your routine, and consider making small changes, such as turning in 15 minutes earlier at night. Other smart habits include going to bed (and waking up) at the same time each day, engaging in relaxing nighttime rituals such as taking a bath or reading a book, exercising regularly, and limiting caffeine and alcohol before you tuck in.

Create a sleep sanctuary. Reserve it for sleep, intimacy, and other restful activities, like pleasure reading and meditation. Keep it on the cool side. Banish the television, computer, social media using  your phone and other diversions from that space.

Nap only if necessary. Night owls and shift workers are at the greatest risk for sleep debt. Twenty minutes is the sweet spot for nap length if you want to wake up feeling alert, cheerful, and productive. Unlike at night when the goal is longer stretches of continuous sleep that will give you the restorative benefits of deep REM sleep, keeping naps to lighter, non-REM sleep will help ensure that you wake up bright-eyed.

 If you’ve got even more time, lucky you. But go big or go home: 30- to 60-minute naps are likely to leave you feeling worse, while a 90-minute nap gives you enough time for a complete, creativity-building sleep cycle.

After your 20 minutes is up, get right back to whatever you were doing before the nap. Get some sunlight on your face, take a brisk walk, jump in place, or splash some water on your face to let your body know that nap time is over.

Avoid caffeine after 3 pm , and go light on alcohol.

Get regular exercise, but not within three hours of bedtime.