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Happiness Tip: Get More Sleep

I know, I know, you don’t have time to sleep. You’re very busy and important. Or you think you are the exception to the rule—that you are a part of the 2.5% of people that really does feel rested with less than the 8+ hours of sleep that doctors and sleep experts prescribe. Maybe you wish you could get more sleep, but you just can’t find a way to put sleep above your other priorities.

Ask yourself: What are your other priorities? Your health? Your happiness? Productivity and success at work? Raising happy and healthy children? Here’s the truth: You will not fulfill your potential in any of these realms unless you get the sleep your body, brain, and spirit need. A mountain of research supports this dramatic claim.

Take Action: Make a plan to get more sleep. If it feels totally impossible to you to just get to bed earlier, try increasing your sleep by 4 or 5 minutes a night until you’ve adjusted your schedule enough that you are getting eight hours of shut-eye. For example, it might feel totally impossible to get to bed before midnight. But surely you can hit the hay by 11:56. Do this every day for 2 weeks, and you’ll gain an hour (and all the increased productivity, creativity, and happiness that comes with it). Stick to it until you’re going to bed early enough to get 8 hours.

Join the Discussion:  Have you made an attempt to get more sleep?  Have you noticed the positive effects on your life? Inspire others by sharing your success in the comments.


Photo by Mike Bitzenhofer


  1. Marielle says:

    What if you just wake up after 6.5-7 hours of sleep. You feel rested, but sometimes get tired during the day. Going to bed earlier just results in getting up earlier. Sometimes you have a lot on your mind and wake up after just a few hours of sleep and then after a while can get back to sleep for Sleep number 2. Meditation has helped to minimize the wake up in the middle of sleep 1 and sleep 2. Just can’t seem to ever get more than 7 hours of sleep. Tried to minimize the blue light exposure too, but not much difference here. More help just reducing overall light exposure as the night arrives, along with good sun exposure in the morning.

    • Dana says:

      I’m in the same place! Giving myself time to sleep is one thing – staying asleep is another. Once I wake up, if I’m having difficulty calming my mind, I begin to worry that I won’t get back to sleep, which compounds the problem. Meditation helps some times, but not others. I know I feel better on the occasions I get more than 7 hours of sleep, but find it hard to do for the reasons Marielle outlines. Any suggestions?

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