Getting a solid eight hours of sleep every night is easier said than done. We’re all guilty of compromising on sleep. We do it when we stay up binging a show on Netflix until the wee hours of the morning. We do it when we throw caution to the wind and crack open a bottle of Chardonnay right before bedtime. We even do it when we overexert ourselves and prioritize work over health.
But learning how to sleep eight hours is essential for thinking critically, improving your immune system, and controlling behaviors.
The takeaway? We all need eight hours of sleep to function at an optimal level, but many find it difficult. In fact, a survey found that 59% of respondents were averaging less than six hours of sleep per night in 2020.
But understanding how to sleep eight hours is just a matter of following a few easy tips and investing in the right comfort essentials, such as a blanket, a pillow that supports your head and neck, and a good memory foam mattress.
Avoid Screens Before Bed
The temptation to check your phone will always be there, especially if your devices are within reach and pinging with unanswered texts or emails. But incorporating a strict no-screens policy could just be the thing that’ll teach you how to sleep uninterrupted for eight hours. The reason for this is because sleep is affected by even small amounts of light, such as the glow from your phone or computer. The light tells your body to stay awake, making it harder to fall asleep faster.
By avoiding screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime, you also have a chance to spend some quality time with your partner or family, read a book, or reflect by writing in a journal.
Get Cozy with Bedtime Essentials
No amount of sleepy time tea or melatonin supplement could stand as a replacement for investing in the right essentials. To get the best sleep you’ve experienced, invest in a weighted blanket.
Weighted blanket benefits are numerous, but it’s particularly useful if you struggle with knowing how to sleep for eight hours because it provides a hug-like feeling that can improve your sleep quality by helping you stay asleep longer.
Opt for a cool weighted blanket to ensure you don’t overheat through the night. The perfect weighted blanket should offer gentle pressure stimulation that provides therapeutic comfort and is calming on the body.
Stick to a Schedule
While setting a schedule for something that’s supposed to be relaxing can seem counterintuitive, going to bed and waking up at the same time can actually help you learn how to sleep better by establishing a routine.
As with any new routine, sticking to a sleep schedule can be challenging at first, but your body will adapt to the change after a few weeks and you’ll find yourself sleeping and waking up at the same time without even thinking about it.
Avoid Daytime Naps
Napping too much and at irregular times of the day can prevent you from getting a good night’s rest. Short naps are beneficial and can provide a boost of energy, but these power naps shouldn’t last longer than 30 minutes if you’re committed to knowing how to sleep for eight hours.
Excessively long naps can also get in the way of your productivity by making you feel more tired and groggy. However, come nighttime, you might find yourself feeling more refreshed, which can lead to a lack of sleep.
Limit Caffeine and Alcohol Intake
There’s nothing like a steaming hot cup of coffee to wake you up in the mornings, right? It’s normal to reach for a second, even third, cup over the course of your day, but caffeine is a stimulant, which means it’s best to switch to a decaf version by early evening to ensure it doesn’t prevent you from falling asleep at a reasonable time.
In a similar vein, those happy hour drinks you throw back can certainly make you feel drowsy at the end of the night, but it’s going to get in the way of a restful night’s sleep. After you drink, you might find that you’re only able to stay asleep for a few hours before you wake up in the middle of the night with a parched throat and the onset of a headache that leaves you tossing and turning.
Learning how to sleep for eight hours means steering clear of caffeine and alcohol at least up to six hours before bedtime.
The key to knowing how to sleep is letting go of your day’s stresses and treating yourself to something nice, whether that’s a relaxing bubble bath, a cup of chamomile tea, or just lighting a scented candle.
Another good habit to get into before bedtime is meditation. Meditation can help you clear your thoughts and lower your anxiety, which helps you set aside all your worries from the day. When your mind and body are completely relaxed, you’ll find that you’re able to fall asleep faster and your quality of sleep is better.
The eight hours of sleep you’ve always dreamed of is within your reach. Start by making small adjustments to your nighttime routine instead of taking a big leap and ensure you have all the comfortable essentials you need, such as a top-rated mattress, to help you get on track.