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ben's avatar

How can I sleep more efficiently?

Asked by ben (9080points) November 9th, 2006
I'm already a "good sleeper", but I know that events like understanding my sleep patterns, and waking up gradually can drastically effect how rested I feel. What's the best way for me to improve this skill?
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30 Answers

Supergirl's avatar
A sleep doctor recently informed me that to improve your quality of sleep, you should look out your window at the sun for about 20 minutes each morning. Also, take showers at night, so that your body temperature will slowly cool off, as you get ready for bed, which gets you into a deeper sleep faster.
occ's avatar
camomile tea is a natural muscle relaxer that will help you to fall asleep faster.
nicholasbeem's avatar
1. breath from the belly
nicholasbeem's avatar
2. lengthen your exhalations
nicholasbeem's avatar
3. focus on the bottoms of your feet, in particular the inside bottom corner of the ball of the big toes, which is a major energy release point in acupuncture (called the Bubbling Spring, 1st Kidney point)
nicholasbeem's avatar
4. try to recreate the feeling of sinking, using a memory such as going down in an elevator (or is it up?), or lying in a bathtub while it's draining and getting heavier and heavier as the water empties out
nicholasbeem's avatar
5. and as far as sleep patterns go, I find that if I wake up a little bit early feeling wide awake, it's much better to just get up than to go back to sleep for another hour, and wake up feeling murky
ben's avatar
And is there a number of hours I should aim for?
nicholasbeem's avatar
i think it really varies from person to person - i need about 1 hour less sleep than my fiancee in order to feel totally rested
nicholasbeem's avatar
this is cool, ben!
ben's avatar
ben's avatar
landlord's avatar
If you have trouble falling asleepk watch T.V. in a semi-upright position. It relaxes the body. Before you know it, you are in la la land.
Flavio's avatar
don't work in bed...
ben's avatar
Hmm, I work on average 5 hours per day in bed...
skfinkel's avatar
I have sleepy time tea at night. I think at least 7.5 to 8 hours, although what's best is just to see when you wake up and how many hours it's been.
skfinkel's avatar
After you do that for a few nights, you see what you need.
gailcalder's avatar
Check out meditation and relaxation tapes by Jon Kabat-Zinn;. (Mind-body connection). You lie in the dark, follow instructions and fall asleep from boredom.
gailcalder's avatar
Would also add that looking at the sun (advice from amccabe), even for a nano-second, can burn retina and is definitely a big NO-NO
angus's avatar
regarding working in bed: I've actually heard that... also, don't watch TV in bed either. It's important to have a separate sleep/living area.
angus's avatar
gailcalder: I would think amccabe meant "look outside at the sunlight". I don't think anyone could stare at the sun for that long. Ouch.
dans85's avatar
don't watch TV at all before bed--it's too stimulating. Read a great book, instead, while lying in bed with soft light (and I love my vanilla candle!)
tonystubblebine's avatar

The ultimate in efficient sleep is a technique called polyphasic sleeping. Here's an amazing description by one guy who tried it:

The gist is that you sleep 20-30 minutes at a time, six times per day.

GD_Kimble's avatar

I'm a big fan of stretching just before sleep, the same way I would before exercise. Nice hot shower then a good stretch, so I'm not taking all the tension I hold physically with me into bed.

bobster234's avatar

Personally I like to do a little Tai Chi before going to bed. More information on other solutions at

deaddolly's avatar

i like some deep breathing and listening to a cd of rain or the ocean. Very relaxing.
Lavender aromatheraphy works too. And they say we don’t get enough sleep. Eight hours is the best for most people.

I’m also a big fan of naps after work.

CMaz's avatar

I like the idea of showering before bed. It does make me go sleepy faster.
I also put NPR on the radio. I find classical music relaxes me and gives me unique dreams.

kevbo's avatar

Ben, you might be interested in this product which is compatible with the iPhone and other smartphones.

Broken_EarthAngel's avatar

How about a low dosage of Melatonin?

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