If you take into account that human beings spend  in average  8 hours a day sleeping then you would see that we sleep about one third of our whole living existence.  It then makes perfect sense that if you do not sleep well, the other two thirds of your life will fall to pieces. Many people suffer from sleeping problems – acquired by habit – which terribly hinder their ability to rest well and get a “good night sleep”. My objective with this post is to help all of those people who are suffering from problems with their sleep and people who think they could improve the way in which they are currently entering the land of dreams. Of course, this article is not aimed to help people with physiological disorders that may prevent sleep and in such cases visiting your doctor is the most advisable thing you can do.

First of all, lets talk about sleep. It is a basic metabolic function in which the human body rests and recovers from the stress of everyday life. When you sleep your brain is able to recover from the past day, your muscles are repaired and – in fact – your entire body goes through a repair and maintenance mode which is needed for healthy living. Although it has not been proved that sleep is vital to humans – due to ethical issues – it is known that sleep is vital to several animal species. Deprive a mouse from sleep for a few days and it will die. So the importance of sleep is very underrated – not only is it important – but most likely vital to the survival and well functioning of the human body.

How could you improve your sleep then ? The truth is that most people do not have well regulated sleep cycles. The human body has an internal clock which is synchronized by the eyes and tells your body to go to sleep at a certain time everyday. If you train your clock, you will fall asleep at exactly the same time everyday and wake up at the same time the next day. Most of us underestimate the importance of going to sleep at the same time everyday but as a matter of fact doing so makes our body clock align with our life style in an incredible way. Do this and your body will know when it has to sleep and you will fall down like a log into a very deep and resting sleep everyday.

Sleep is also something that needs to be done in moderation. Studies have found that both lack of and excessive sleep are linked with depression and other psychological problems. Sleep 6 hours everyday and you will feel tired, angry and frustrated. Sleep 10 hours a day and you will not want to wake up, you will feel groggy and lazy. So the magic number seems to be 8 hours everyday. Of course, different people and different age groups have different ideal quantities of sleep but for most adults the ideal is just eight hours of sleep everyday.

There is also the problem of playing with your sleep. Don’t treat sleeping as if it is something you “have to do” and put it behind every other priority in your life. I went through a five year  chemistry major without staying up late a single day doing any homework, lab work, etc and the problem is not that you have too much work, the problem is that your time management is poor. In order to compensate for your poor management skills, your sleep has to suffer and you end up trying to “extend” your day by using coffee, energy drinks and other “creative” solutions. However when you do this you are harming your sleeping patterns and you will then end up more tired and less able to get a good night sleep.

In the end what I am saying is that you should give sleep a good priority because you are doing this one third of the time. It is a vital bodily function and it is extremely important to help you realize your full potential. If you are not able to get enough sleep or you are getting to bed late ask yourself if this is because you are lacking some organizational skills or you are overdoing other aspects of your live. Instead of using solutions to “extend” your days, or force your sleep, address the real issues behind your lack of time and give your sleep the high and well deserved priority it should have always had. Sleep better, in well defined hours and you will see that you will feel happier, healthier and much more energetic.