After you’ve had your minimum seven to eight hours of high-quality sleep you’re much more likely to wake up alert and refreshed. You’ll be ready to kick off a morning routine that ideally includes meditation, a healthy breakfast and some form of physical movement, if not a full workout.
You’ll also likely find yourself able to focus better and be productive in whatever you do and in a better mood while doing it. This can ebb and flow over time but in general you’ll be feeling more calm and concentrated than you would after just five or six hours of sleep.
You may need to cut back on your overwork to get your needed sleep, but your brain will be able to work more efficiently the next day, anyway.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare yourself for bed in the evenings:
Plan tomorrow tonight
Get everything ready ahead of time that you possibly can to make your morning and everything else that happens the next day much more relaxed. Choose your outfit, prepare as much of your breakfast as you can, leave your bag by the door and jot down your three top priorities for the day.
Block out enough time
“Eight hours of sleep” means eight hours actually asleep, not eight hours spent lying in bed. So if you’re looking to sleep eight hours per night give yourself at least nine hours to fall asleep, stay asleep and then wake up. You’ll feel much better as a result.
Beds are for sleeping
Many people find it easier to fall asleep once they’re in bed if they don’t read, work, watch TV, talk or text on the phone or do anything else there that isn’t related to sleep or intimacy. Creating a strong link in your brain between “bed” and “sleeping,” to the exclusion of other activities, is a powerful motivator for sleep.
When we talk about the importance of sleep we often focus on its long-term health implications over the short-term benefits, such as how happy and energized you’ll feel the next morning.