Research shows that the parents of newborns get just 5.1 hours of sleep on average during the first year of a child’s life. However, once nursery and school kick in along with related tasks such as uniform maintenance and homework supervision, we’re not too sure parents of older kids get too much more sleep either. We’ve spoken many times before on the blog about sleep and morning regimes that can help you and the family to pack more in and we’re just as guilty as everyone else of grabbing a caffeine fix first thing before we get going, but is there anything else you could be doing to help you get by on small amounts of sleep? We did some digging on the topic of sleep strategies…
Have you heard of polyphasic sleep? Most adults follow a monophasic sleep strategy – they group together their sleep hours into one chunk, usually overnight and that’s their sleep for that 24-hour period. With polyphasic sleep you sleep multiple times within a day but for shorter bursts. Many people experiment to find smaller sleep periods that allow them to get more done during the day though some experts argue this can lead to unhealthy levels of sleep deprivation.
Banking sleep in advance
There’s no evidence to suggest you can catch up on missed sleep but research conducted by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research concluded that you can bank sleep in advance. In an experiment they allowed some individuals to go to bed a few hours earlier for a week then the next week cut back on their sleep. Compared to individuals who hadn’t been allowed to bank sleep in advance they found that they were better able to function. So, if you know you have a tough week coming up you may want to make an extra effort to put some extra hours in advance.
Get better sleep
If you can’t get more sleep, could you get better sleep? Some people find there are certain hours during they night they really must sleep through or they really suffer. Cutting out time on digital devices, increasing exercise, reducing caffeine and improving your diet could help you to increase your overall sleep quality, helping you to get by on less.
How many hours sleep do you get each night on average? Do you have any tips for getting by when your time spent sleeping is less than ideal? Have you tried polyphasic sleep and if so, how did you find it? Share your sleep strategy hints and tips below. Don’t forget to join us over on Facebook for more news, product updates and competitions.