By Akerele Christabel 9:52 pm PST

We all know what it feels like to have a truck load of work to do and a tight deadline to meet and yet oversleep. Like, tonight of all nights?! Some of us might have even tried many hacks to try to reduce our sleep time, so I think it is safe to start here:

  1. Not everyone is the same: Believe it or not, some (weirdly lucky) people have gene mutations that help them maintain normal body physiological functions with less than 6.5 hours of sleep. I know right?! Now, before you start running to a hospital for a study on your genomes, I am sure if you were one of these guys, you would have noticed by now. But do not worry, you are not alone, we are quite a lot on the other side of the line.
  2. This is probably the most important. Cutting the recommended hours of sleep for a protracted period is detrimental to your health. Each time you reduce the amount of sleep you get consecutively, your brain ages much faster. Yeah, that hurts. There is no such thing as getting used to sleeping little. It has its own repercussions. Adults need an average of 7 hours of sleep a day, Teenagers need an average of 9 hours sleep a day while children need between 10 to 13 hours of sleep every day.

However, understanding the kind of demand that we might face at times, skipping some hours of sleep for some days in a row is inevitable. So, this article aims to educate you on the healthiest way to get enough rest with lesser time to sleep while at the same time managing your health. However, this should not become a habit. Consider it as your last card when every other thing has failed. So here we go!

Polyphasic Sleep

Many people have heard about this, but very few people really stick to it. Polyphasic sleep means to break ones sleep down into many parts at different times of the day rather than just once a day. It sure requires a lot of discipline and is a huge shift in lifestyle, but if you need to get a lot of work done and need as much 20- 22 hours of active time every day, you can try one of the many forms of Polyphasic sleep. My favorite and personal recommendation is the “Dymaxion” method which is 4 30-minutes naps every 6 hours to make a total of 2 hours sleep a day.

Breathing and Posture

From extensive research, scientists have been able to draw a straight line through our sleeping posture, how we breathe and the quality of sleep that we get. It is possible to sleep for 10 hours and still not feel rested because of wrong sleeping postures and breathing techniques.
For posture, the suggested way to sleep is on your left side, rather than your right and in a curled position like you are sitting. This posture aids blood circulation and digestion.
As for breathing, there are many suggestions as to how to breathe, but how can we tell if we are doing it right while sleeping yeah?! So, here is a great way to get started. Once you are in that curled position, focus on taking just 12 to 20 deep breaths per minute. Like I said earlier, this will take some practice, however, you will find that as it becomes a part of you, you will feel more rested when you wake up even if you sleep for a short time.

However, when we need urgent lifestyle changes to help us sleep better, the following will help:
 Sleeping on a hard surface
 Sleeping on the floor to help relax your nerves.
 Sleep with fewer blankets.
 Reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake.
 Eat a healthy diet to gain energy throughout the day.
 Sleep in a dark room to increase the production of melatonin.
 Turn off your devices! Avoid any idle time while in bed, get serious with this sleeping business.
 Get some light exercise to improve blood flow and relax your body. Avoid heavy exercises as they will make you feel more tired.
 Expose yourself to daylight when you are not sleeping to help stimulate the production of serotonin.

Sleep is essential for us to be productive, so try to pay attention to getting enough sleep as much as you can.