These days, more and more people are sleeping less and less. Most adults need seven or eight hours, says Phyllis Zee, M.D., director of the Sleep Disorders Centre at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, USA. Not hitting the magic number? Here are some innovative ways to squeeze in an extra 30 to 60 minutes of sleep each day.
1. Ban the snooze buttonEven if it doesn't feel like it, you're actually more awake the first time your eyes open than after a string of ten snooze naps. "Continuing to fall back asleep after each alarm buzz makes you feel groggier in the end," says Dr. Zee. Get up on the first buzz and save those snooze minutes for an early-afternoon nap.
2. Become a champion multitaskerCount the extra minutes you save with these ideas throughout the day and go to bed that much earlier.
- Email anywhere. Don't have a BlackBerry or iPhone? Think about getting one. You may cluck at those people constantly glued to their mini-screens, but the occasional check-in while in a queue at the store lets you stay on top of your inbox.
- Have a working lunch. Instead of going out with co-workers, pack a lunch once or twice a week and pay bills or tackle your online to-do list during the noon hour.
- Plot a course. Think about all your errands and ask yourself if there's an easier way. Can you use the grocery store's pharmacy instead of the one a few kilometres away? Is your current dry cleaner really better than the one next to your office? Make all your stops as convenient as possible.