The average adult requires 7-8 hours of sleep to function optimally according to experts. So how do some successful CEOs achieve higher productivity even though they claim to sleep for only 4-5 hours?
Well, a small percentage are genetically wired to require less sleep. But the majority have simply mastered the art of sleeping less and having more energy. This proves that it is not the duration of your sleep that matters most. But the level of quality you’re able to get.
With our ultra-busy daily lives, we’re sleeping less and staying awake more. This is why it is critical to figure out the best ways to get a great night’s rest no matter how short it may be.
How do You Sleep Less and Have More energy?
Sleeping less but having more energy in the morning is not rocket science. It is all about making the lifestyle changes that remove the barriers to achieving blissful nights in bed.
As long as you’re able to do that, you can achieve longer Rapid Eye Movement Sleep. This is the deeper kind of shut-eye that gives the greatest relaxation to the brain.
21 Smart Hacks to Sleep Less and Do More
What are the top tips to sleep less and stay more productive? Well, we recognize that these hacks are probably the main reason why you’re here right now. Shall we jump right into our tried-and-tested insights to help boost your energy levels in the morning?
1. Sleep on the Floor
Want to wake up with more energy after a few hours of sleep? Ditch your mattress and move to the floor. Lying down on the floor can enhance the quality of your sleep in many ways. It is an effective method for regulating your body temperature and allowing you to sleep cool.
Since the floor is the coldest part of any room, cool air circulates your body and eliminates discomfort. Floor sleeping also prevents your mattress from absorbing your body heat and causing night sweats.
Besides, the cool floor temperatures can be lifesaving for pregnant women who sweat profusely during the early stages of pregnancy. It can improve sleep and help promote better health for the mother and young fetus.
We recommend you to read the article we wrote about the benefits of sleeping on the floor.
2. Sleep on Your Left Side
A good night’s sleep is the secret to maximum energy in the morning. Lying down on the left side of your body has proven to be one of the best ways to achieve just that. It is proven to eliminate digestion problems so you can wake up less during the night.
Acid reflux can disturb your sleep which causes fatigue in the morning. Fortunately, left-side sleeping has shown positive results in eliminating acid reflux even after excessive eating.
If you have poor eating habits, sticking to your left side in bed is the way to go. It can help counter the effects of the food to prevent it from robbing you of valuable sleep.
Have you seen the article we wrote on left-side sleeping? Click here to read lots of amazing insights into the positives from this sleeping position.
3. Sleep Naked
Feeling too warm for comfort? How about you ditch those clothes and go Commando?
Even if you cannot jump into bed fully naked, wearing less clothing can enhance your shut-eyes significantly. Many men report getting better levels of rest at night when they sleep in their boxer shorts only. The minimal clothing keeps the body cool and activates more satisfying sleep.
Women, on the other hand, tend to prefer ditching their bras in favor of shirts and panties. Others choose the complete commando route. This does not only promote better sleep but enables proper aeration of their intimate parts to enhance excellent reproductive health.
Jumping into bed with your clothes off guarantees cool body temperatures which relax your brain. By morning, you should feel more energized even from a shorter sleep duration.
Our complete guide on sleeping naked can be found here. We recommend that you check it out to find the benefits you could be missing out on by sleeping with clothes.
4. Avoid Late-Night Eating
Desperate to wake up with more energy in the morning? It is time to kick the heavy late-night meal habit. The majority of us live busy lives and sometimes, you’re forced to work late with a zero chance of grabbing something to eat. By the time you’re able to catch dinner, it is an hour or so to your bedtime.
Does this sound like you? If yes, no wonder you feel so tired that you’re barely able to function in the morning. The best way to change that trend is to quit eating heavily at night and stick to lighter options. Switching to heavy lunches so light dinners can be the norm instead of the exception, is another helpful tip.
Have you seen the article we wrote on the dangers of going to bed with a full stomach? Click here to read it.
5. Avoid Sleeping Hungry
More often than not, going to bed hungry turns out to be a recipe for disaster. It can cause hunger pangs that can get so uncomfortable that you’re barely able to close your eyes. This is why you cannot afford to sleep on an empty stomach.
Hunger feelings at bedtime increase your chances of waking up with fatigue in the morning. This can cause drowsiness and a resulting dip in energy levels.
While having a full meal at bedtime is unhealthy, neither is starving yourself. Instead, getting a snack before sleep can give your body a good amount of energy to relax the brain. This should result in a blissful night of shut-eye.
6. No Coffee
Drinking coffee or another caffeinated beverage usually gives an instant energy rush that makes you feel invisible. However, this rush only lasts as long as the effects of the coffee remain and over time, you end up feeling more fatigued.
This is why ditching coffee, especially at night can be a good idea if you want to wake up with maximum energy. Additionally, coffee increases the rate at which you drink water. This can cause sleep disturbance due to the resulting need for frequent bathroom visits.
A bedtime cup of coffee is simply not the way to go. It can be detrimental to achieving the quality of sleep you need to perform at your best especially when you don’t get as much as you’re used to.
7. Stay Hydrated
Have you ever woken up feeling so thirsty in the middle of the night that a glass of water seems like the most important thing in the world? Staying hydrated is a pre-requisite to good sleep. Sure, you can still feel thirsty at some point in the night no matter how much water you drink before bed. But consistent hydration minimizes that probability.
Also, the right amount of water is necessary for proper digestion. Without that, the digestive organs can stress out to the point where falling asleep becomes a nightmare.
Well-hydrated people do not only drift off to sleep much quicker. They also stay asleep throughout the whole night. What’s your excuse for depriving your body of water?
8. Create a Proper Meal Plan
A proper meal plan is essential to outstanding all-round health. And healthy people tend to sleep better which means more productivity. All things being equal, healthy people tend to feel more energized in the morning.
Making sure your meals contain the right mix of Carbs, Protein, Vitamins, and healthy fats can be vital. Additionally, you should resist the temptation to eat larger meal portions no matter how hungry you may be feeling.
Remember, a proper meal plan does not only involve what and how much you eat. When you eat can also be critical. No wonder experts recommend trying to eat small meals at healthy intervals to keep your metabolism levels high for efficient calorie burning.
9. Bedtime Sex
Have you noticed that you sleep better every time you have sex around bedtime? This is because sex is a natural sleep booster.
Firstly, getting intimate with your partner lowers Cortisol levels in both of your bodies. Since Cortisol is the hormone that makes you worry, a dip in its levels can relax your mind to enable better sleep.
Additionally, sex releases Oxytocin which also reduces anxiety levels and makes you feel happy. With a ramp-up in oxytocin and other happiness hormones, fall asleep will become quicker. After-sex naps are usually deeper meaning even if you sleep for less, you can expect higher levels of energy in the morning.
10. Light Snacking at Intervals
The best way to achieve maximum energy from food is to eat light portions at regular intervals. This can help you tone down on the total number of calories you consume daily.
Light snacking throughout the day is less stressful on the digestive organs. And this puts them in the right frame to achieve maximum efficiency whenever any food hits the stomach. Also, lighter foods minimize the risk of indigestion which can cause insomnia and fatigue in the morning.
Besides, light snacking prevents extreme hunger which can tempt you into not only binge eating but consuming junk food too.
Physically active people can sleep less and do more. Remember, exercises are not only good for your physical well-being, but they can also improve your mental strength. But what is the relationship between staying active and sleep?
Firstly, exercise improves your stamina which minimizes the risk of fatigue even when you’re unable to get enough sleep.
Besides, even the lightest exercises can be physically exhaustive. This makes you sleep deeper whenever you hit your bed.
Regular exercises make you fit which in turn shortens your recovery time. That means your body heals faster and repairs worn-out tissues much quicker.
Once you reach that level, even the shortest amount of sleep recharges your body and sets it up to achieve optimum levels of productivity.
12. Reduce Your Sleeping Time
Are you used to getting 7-8 hours of night-time sleep? A sudden reduction to 4 or 5 can take a heavy toll on the body. This can cause feelings of dizziness and fatigue in the morning leading to lower productivity levels. You could even find yourself losing focus and napping on the job.
That is why cutting down your sleep duration gradually is the best way to go. Instead of 8 hours a night, you can reduce it by an hour every week until your body gets used to less sleep.
An instant reduction in many long-term habits can be bad. And your sleeping time happens to be one of those.
13. Power Nap
Are you experiencing daytime tiredness due to a disruption in your regular sleeping cycle? A power nap could be what you need to bump up your energy levels during the day.
They consist of short 20 to 30-minute naps known for skyrocketing your energy levels when you’re extremely tired.
Most people settle for power naps during their lunch breaks but it is up to you to decide the best time for it. Fortunately, many Fortune 500 Companies are increasingly integrating sleeping pods on-site to promote these short naps.
If you work for one of those progressive firms then you’re in luck. But even if that is not the case, your work desk may be just fine for a mini-nap.
14. Take a Cold Shower
A cold shower may not be the easiest thing to do during winter. However, managing to take one can be extremely rewarding.
In any case, we all know the soothing effects of a cold shower on the body. After a hard day of hard work, spending a few minutes under running water in your bathroom can make you forget all your problems.
You can then jump into bed with an optimized mind and body to get recharging sleep.
A cold shower also reduces the body’s temperature instantly. During summer heatwaves, few things put you to sleep quicker and deeper than that.
15. Relaxing Music
While loud music in your bedroom can be off-putting for sleep, listening to relaxing music achieves the exact opposite.
According to WebMD, listening to slow-tempo music for 45 minutes can help you sleep. Music is so effective even among schizophreniacs who are notorious for their sleep struggles.
Low-tempo music activates the brain’s sleep zones by slowing down the listener’s heart rate. This makes it easy to drift off to sleep and stay asleep.
Classical music is one of the most common genres for a good night’s rest. But if you’re not a fan, any other kind of music that hovers around 60 tempos a minute can be a good fit.
16. No Alcohol and Drugs at Bedtime
Drinking alcohol late at night can rob you of a good night’s rest. A glass of wine may be fine if you’re in the mood to drink. But anything more and you’re looking at mediocre sleep and fatigue in the morning.
Too much alcohol can also cause hangovers and associated symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and general weakness.
Aside from alcohol, doing drugs can also disturb your sleep and lower your productivity levels in the morning.
17. Rest Your Eyes
If you live a busy life, you need all the sleep you can get. But, watching YouTube videos, reading emails, checking out the news, and playing games on your Smartphone in bed can disturb your sleep. These distractions can eat into the number of hours of shut-eye available.
Watching TV or working on your laptop in bed are additional activities that can be stressful for the eyes. If you want to sleep better and wake up with high energy levels, it is important to ditch your gadgets at bedtime.
18. No or Little Bedroom Noise
Any form of excessive noise can cause sleepless nights. Whether this is as a result of leaving your TV on or loud neighbors, noise inhibits sleep. One of the best ways to achieve excellent naps in noisy environments is to use noise-canceling earphones. As long as you get the right model, you can be sure of little to no disturbance regardless of the loudness in your environment.
Snoring is another source of noise in many bedrooms. If your partner snores loudly, you should consider getting him or her a CPAP Mask.
Another solid but sensitive option is to move to the guest bedroom. The lack of noisy distractions there can help you get more rewarding sleep from fewer hours.
19. Move and Stretch
One of the first things we all do right after waking up in the morning is to stretch our bodies. This is because lying down on your back, stomach, or tummy all night restricts the body’s movements. And the contracted muscles become prone to cramps, injuries, and discomfort.
Stretching opens up the body’s muscles and joints to promote proper blood flow. This can guarantee efficient sleep which unlocks more energy in the morning.
20. Sunlight and Fresh Air
Ever fallen asleep under a tree in the middle of a bright, sunny day? If yes, then you’re aware of the power of getting fresh air on your ability to sleep.
But did you know that continuous exposure to fresh air during the day can help you enjoy enhanced rest at night?
This is why it is important to take short walks around the office and use the stairs instead of the elevator sometimes. Undertaking tasks that put your body in direct contact with fresh air and sunlight has vital benefits for your sleep fortunes.
We recommend that you read the article we wrote on sleeping under a tree here.
21. Catch up on the Weekends
Over-stressing the body can harm your sleep in the long-term. Fortunately, the tips above can help you sleep fewer hours and achieve more. But do well to catch up on the weekends when you have some free time.
After all, a 2-hour nap on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon can help reset your brain for another week.
There you have it. These are the top 21 tips and tricks to help you sleep less and have more energy. Note that while all of these tips above can help in many ways, 3 or 4 may be all you need to achieve amazing results for your sleep and productivity.