Wednesday, February 21, 2007

How To Get A Good Night's Sleep

If you're like me, one of the things that really brings you down at work is a lack of sleep. I really have trouble getting to sleeep some nights, with the result being an extremely tired morning the next morning, and a difficult day at work.

I think the root of my problem is the weekend/weekday differential. What I mean by this is I typically try to get into bed around 10 during the week. Sometimes this goes later, and very rarely does it go any earlier. In fact I would say the median time I'm asleep is 11:30pm, and I wake up at 6am for a total of about six and a half hours of sleep, which never feels like enough. On the weekends however, I tend to stay up late, usually till 2am, and I end up sleeping in (when I can) to 10 or 11 in the morning.

This screws up my biological clock. Come Sunday night, I'm not tired enough to go to bed early. I could go to bed at 10 and just lay there for like five hours wide awake. This messes me up for a few days, I end up missing out on sleep, and when the next weekend comes around, I do it all again.

I looked around the Internet for some advice on how to get a better night's sleep, and I stumbled upon a fellow by the name of Dr. William Dement at Stanford, who is the author of this page full of good sleep tips.

Some of the other tips include:

  • "If you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something boring until you feel sleepy"
  • "Have a light snack before bed" - an empty stomach or one that is too full can interfere with sleep
  • Use sunlight to set your biological clock - he recommends getting up and turning your face towards the sun for 15 minutes every morning to let your body know it is time to wake up

Any other tips on getting a good night's sleep? While it isn't particularly personal finance related, I think that sleep is one of the most basic prerequisites to anything you do.


TFB said...

I find wearing an eye mask really helps, especially when I sleep in a different environment (e.g. hotel).

MoneyMan said...

Thanks for the advice TFB, I will have to try that. I know that the sliver of light that seems to find its way through the curtains in my bedroom is definitely one of the things that keeps me from getting to sleep. I can block that out by adjusting the curtains at home, but sometimes on the road, you can't do it so easily (cheap curtains, broken ones etc...). One of those masks could be a good help.