Try answering the following questions:
- Do you frequently fall asleep if given a sleep opportunity (a sleep opportunity is defined as a quiet, dark environment for at least 10 minutes)?
- Do you usually need an alarm clock to wake you?
- Do you tend to catch up on sleep during the weekends?
- Once awake, do you feel tired most mornings?
- Do you frequently take naps during the day?
- When you can get it, do you consistently sleep more than 9.5 hours per night?
- Do you feel lethargic or slow throughout the day?
- Do you sleep longer during times of depression, anxiety and stress?
Do you get two or more yes’s? Chances are you need more sleep. To discover how much sleep you need you could try the following: go to bed at roughly the same time each night for a week allowing yourself around 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Continue to go to bed at this time waking up without an alarm clock. Record the amount of sleep you get each night and work out the nightly average.
There are some steps we can take to improve our quality of sleep. Try to establish a quiet, comfortable, dark and cool environment. Optimum temperature would be around 18 degrees C.
Exercise can help you sleep. However, studies have shown that you do need to make the exercise vigorous and you shouldn’t exercise close to going to bed. So, allow time for the body temperature to drop following exercise before hitting the mattress. Also, it has been shown that for exercise to help you sleep you do need to have been exercising consistently for around 4 months. For those not getting enough sleep there is an increased risk of obesity, heart disease and depression.
Some of the above information is extracted from Peak Performance.