Most adults need between 7-7.5 hours of sleep per night. This varies from person to person, of course, but it’s a good number to shoot for: let’s call it The Solid Seven. It’s backed up by research—but you probably know from personal experience the truth of it. When you go consecutive days without a Solid Seven, things tend to go downhill.
Here’s a collection of actions you can take to get the sleep you—and your hormones—need:
- Change the way you think of your bedroom: in your mind, call it the sleeproom. If it helps to call it that when you talk about it, then do that, too. Your family might think you’re silly when you say things like “I left my wallet in the sleeproom,” but then again, it might be fun.
- Use the sleeproom for sleeping only—and intimacy, of course. Do things like reading, watching TV, working, or playing games in other rooms.
- At risk of repeating ourselves: avoid reading, writing, working, watching TV, surfing the web on your laptop or tablet, playing games, or talking on the phone while you’re in the sleeproom.
- Keep the sleeproom quiet and cool. Turn down the heat and keep an extra blanket on hand if you know you’re a cold sleeper.
- Keep the sleeproom as dark as possible. This will stimulate the release of melatonin so you’re mind tells your body it’s time to sleep. Use blackout shades to keep out ambient light from streetlights, your neighbors outdoor security lights, or light from signage if you live in a big city.
- Make your bed comfortable. If you sleep with a partner and a queen size bed is not large enough for the two of you, consider investing in a king-sized bed.