UNITED STATES—Sleep, we would all like to get more of it, but are we actually doing the things we need to do to adequately get that sleep that the experts stated we need. A total of 8 hours is recommended, but I cannot tell you the last time I actually received 8 hours of sleep because there tends to be something that is stressing me out that I have to deal with.

In addition, that stress creates worry, which ultimately leads to tossing and turning all night in the bed. That is never and I mean never a good thing people. So I have been actively working to clear my head at night. How can I best do that? Just think about something positive. In essence, you have to go to your happy place and when you’re at your happy place that sometimes helps you get the best sleep.

However, I have also discovered just because you’re thinking about something positive, does NOT mean it will yield the results you want to have. I have discovered that some of my best sleep is a direct result of me just burning myself out. If I’m just exhausted beyond being exhausted I sleep so well I cannot explain it in words. The problem with such tactics is that it will really be taxing on your body. That body can only handle so much pressure and stress before it shuts down and not in the best way people. You need to factor in ways that you can get things done in an efficient manner that it does not lead to overstressing you as a result. It’s ok to work a few minutes or a few hours over at work when needed, but don’t make it a habit to do it every day. Doing so can result in your job expecting it and as a result, you feel pressured to do it, that leads to stress, that stress ultimately leads to worry which impacts your sleep.

Sleep you sometimes have to take it whenever you can get it, what does that mean? If you’re able to take a little nap during the day do it. It can be 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes or just an hour if possible. Those small naps deliver some of the best sleep you can ever imagine and deliver a burst of energy that the body needs. The problem with taking naps is NOT everyone has the opportunity to do it people.

So if a nap during the day is not possible, once you’ve gotten home from work, you’ve eaten dinner, do something that relaxes you and then transition to preparing for bed. However, be cautious of surfing the web on your phone, your tablet or iPad. Why? Those bright lights are triggers for your circadian rhythm. If you trigger your sleep pattern when you’re supposed to be sleeping, it is going to be hard to get back to sleep people. Now is that something you want to transpire? Of course not!

I know people who sleep with a TV on, I know people who have to have complete silence when they sleep, I know people who need to have a fan or some sort of white noise to get sleep people. I’m someone who has to have complete silence when I sleep, it needs to be dark and I have to have a fan on. It’s not that I get hot; it’s the sound that soothes me to sleep. The smallest amount of light or a cracked door will keep me up all night. It sounds crazy, but I cannot sleep with an open door people. I have never been able to nor do I think I ever will. Just that thought of someone possibly spying or watching me, unnerves me making the notion of me sleeping that much more difficult America.

Sometimes you have to adjust your sleep pattern or schedule. Are you going to sleep at the same time each night? Do you have a firm mattress; what about the pillows you sleep on are they comfortable? These are all factors that can impact your sleep people. Rather you think it does or not, I’m telling you it does. Also do NOT force yourself to stay awake longer if your body is telling you to sleep. That is something I have picked up on and when I feel my eyes closing, my body is telling me it’s time to sleep and to NOT fight it in the process people.

Every day we are learning new things about our bodies and sleep. What I can best say is that if you’re NOT getting adequate sleep change what you’re doing. If it has gotten to the point where you never get sleep than it might be time to see a specialist to find out what you can do to help get that sleep that all of our bodies desperately need.

Written By Zoe Mitchell