When people are sleep deprived, their productivity suffers. They aren’t able to focus easily or make decisions as effectively. Their decisions aren’t as sound, they tend to be less creative, and they may feel like they lack the energy to deal with stressful situations.

The majority of adults need about seven or eight hours of sleep a night. If you’re regularly getting less than that, you’re probably not getting enough sleep.

For some people, their lives are so busy that it’s simply not possible to get seven or eight hours of sleep each night. If you fall into this group, you have my sympathies! And I’m sure there’s no easy fix. (Otherwise, you would have done it!) But utilizing time management techniques could help – things like creating a detailed weekly schedule for yourself, prioritizing your activities and responsibilities, and having a plan in place in case unexpected developments occur.

But what if you try to get seven or eight hours of sleep a night, but you still feel exhausted – either because you have trouble falling asleep or because you’re not sleeping deeply? According to psychology professor June J. Pilcher, there are two effective techniques that you can try: 

  • Do something boring – If you have trouble falling asleep and you spend a lot of time every night lying in bed without actually sleeping, Pilcher suggests that you stop trying so hard. Instead of lying in bed, stressing about the fact that you’re not sleeping, get up and do something really boring. Reading an incredibly dull book or manual is a good option. Don’t check your phone, do anything fun, or do any kind of physical work (like sweeping the floor), because this can be stimulating. Just stick with your boring activity until you feel sleepy, and then try going back to bed.
  • Sleep less – If you have trouble falling asleep OR if you fall asleep easily, but still wake up feeling tired and groggy, Pilcher suggests that you try sleeping less. If you usually try to sleep about eight hours a night, limit yourself to seven hours a night for two weeks. Your body will compensate by making the most of the sleep time it has. You should fall asleep more easily and sleep more deeply. If you still feel tired after the two-week period, allow yourself an additional 15 minutes of sleep. See how that makes you feel, and then add additional 15 minute increments if necessary. Eventually you’ll discover the right amount of sleep for you, and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and energized. Good luck!

Downes, S. (2020, April 1). 2 signs you need to revamp your nighttime routine. Inc. Retrieved from: https://www.inc.com/sophie-downes/sleep-bedtime-night-routine-insomnia-productivity.html