Not getting enough sleep can be a major life problem. Housewares retailer Moshells recently surveyed 2,000 people in the United States and found that 64 percent of them feel they're not getting enough sleep, with nearly a third reporting that they often have trouble falling asleep. Here's what else science has to say on the subject.
1. Read before bed, because it promotes relaxation.
A study conducted at the University of Sussex in England found that only six minutes of reading reduced people's stress levels by 68 percent. The relaxation effect created by cracking open a book was stronger than listening to music, enjoying a hot drink or walking.
2. Viewing electronic devices before bed is really bad for sleep.
Whether it's TV, a tablet, laptop, or your phone, all emit blue light and should be banished from your bedroom, or not used a couple of hours before you want to fall asleep. It's because blue light suppresses a person's circadian rhythm and the secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin.
3. Use special glasses if you must be exposed to artificial light before bed.
Any kind of artificial light--even the lamp which helps you read a book before bed--creates blue light. Help yourself by wearing blue light blocking glasses. You can get a pair for less than $10.
4. A 20-minute mid-afternoon nap is good for you.
That's according to a study published in the journal of Clinical Neurophysiology which found that people who took a brief nap woke to feel more confident in the performance of their tasks. And according the Mayo Clinic, short naps typically don't affect the quality of nighttime sleep but you shouldn't take one longer than 30 minutes.
5. Trying to stay awake might be the best way to fall asleep.
It's worth trying if you're an insomniac who has anxiety about not being able to nod off. According to a study published in the journal of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, people who were instructed to stop trying to fall asleep, actually had an easier time doing so.