Your body and your mind need to recharge each night, and sleep is how we do this. Your physical body needs between 5-6 hours of sleep each night to rest and repair itself. This initial sleep is often devoid of much R.E.M. dream sleep, which is what your mind needs to recharge itself. Figure another 2 hours of sleep are needed for dreaming and mental recharging (most dreaming occurs after your first 5-6 hours of sleep), for a total of 7-8 hours of ideal sleep per night.
- Sleep in a darkened room, on a firm and comfortable mattress
- De-stress and “turn off” your mind before you climb into bed (don’t think about your worries or your day to come right before sleep)
- Don’t eat for 90 minutes before bed
- Don’t read in bed—make bed for sleeping only. Read in a comfortable chair, preferably not in the bedroom
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible—sleep isn’t something you can “catch up on” on weekends