It’s no secret that sleep is incredibly important for our health. If we don’t get enough, we end up feeling foggy, sluggish, unmotivated and perhaps even physically ill.
Ideally, adults should get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every day – but there are some exceptions.
Researchers have found that that a very small proportion of people, 1% to 3%, can get along fine on 4 hours or less. Highly successful people also tend to get less than 7 hours. President Barack Obama for example, doesn’t sleep until 1am, and he’s back on his feet by 7am, reports Forbes. How is it possible for high achievers to sleep less and do more? Below are some sleep habits that many successful people have adopted.
Turn off the lights
Dim the lights and turn off/silence all your devices including smartphones, laptops and TVs, about 60 minutes before bedtime. This will let your brain know that it is time for rest. Regulating exposure to light is an effective way to keep circadian rhythms in check.
Keep a consistent sleep/wake schedule
Sleeping in during the weekend feels glorious, but it won’t make you feel more rested in the long run. Staying up and sleeping in later than normal can shift your body’s natural clock in the same way that overseas travel does, making you extra tired come Monday morning.
Napping can be good, as long as you don’t overdo it. A 30-minute snooze can actually boost your memory, alertness and performance. But rest for longer than this and you’ll enter the first stages of the sleep cycle and end up feeling groggy when you wake.
Quality over quantity
Having a short but restful sleep is more beneficial than a longer, interrupted one. That’s because your brain isn’t able to progress through sleep stages when you’re constantly waking up. If you can’t fall asleep, get up from your bed and return when you feel more tired.
Wake up early
You would be surprised how much you can accomplish in the early hours of the morning. Waking up at 6:00 AM can allow you to workout, meditate, prepare a good breakfast, and organize your day all before the rest of the world gets going.
Helen Marie Fox is a health and performance coach who has helped hundreds of individuals and groups perform at their best. Her strategic approach to goal achievement leaves people armed with the knowledge, skills and essential mindset required to create change. Read more.