We hated doing it when we were kids, we did it for endless hours as teenagers, and as adults, we couldn’t seem to get enough of it – sleep.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that sleep should be a low priority, especially when we see global CEOs bragging about how few hours they get a night or their ridiculously early wake-up times – but that’s just wrong.

A study by the Sleep Health Foundation found that 33 to 45 percent of adults get poor or insufficient sleep.

Four ways to get better sleep

1. No caffeine 

We want to wind down before going to bed so that in the hours leading up to your bedtime limit stimulating beverages such as coffee. Caffeine stays four to six hours in your system, so make sure you plan ahead and reconsider that afternoon coffee.

2. Switch off

Get screens out of the room. Turn off smart devices, TVs, laptops and other displays that emit blue light, make noises and vibrate. Replace your mobile phone with an analog alarm clock to keep your phone out of reach.

3. Get moving

Get rid of that extra energy by exercising about 30 minutes on a daily basis. It doesn’t have to be intense, but it’s enough for sweat to work.

4. Eat early

Eat foods and protein from whole grain, like chicken and nuts, two to three hours before bed. These can trigger a change in levels of serotonin that can encourage sleep. Sleep is a powerful tool that people everywhere often take for granted, so do a favor for yourself and get some rest.

As humans we often take sleep for granted misusing and abusing its power, forgetting what sleep does. 

Only one night without sleep was comparable to 0.10 percent blood alcohol. Memory will be impaired and there may be long-term effects if lack of sleep continues. Sleeplessness also infringes our intake of oxygen, and speech causes us to slur words and forget what we say. Tasks become more difficult to complete and a person becomes more cranky. Your heart rate is rising, your brain is going to fall into a micro-sleep while you’re still awake and you may begin to see things.

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