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The combination of a hectic work schedule and a busy personal life can often cause you to compromise your quality of sleep. These helpful tips can provide a solution so you can effectively combat sleep deprivation.

Develop a Sleep Schedule

It’s often easier said than done, but one of the best ways to get a better night’s sleep is to stick to a schedule. Ideally, you’ll go to bed and wake up around the same time because it trains your body to develop healthy sleep habits. It’s all about consistency. This way you’re more alert when you wake up, and you can expect a consistently higher level of brain functioning throughout the day.

Stay Away from Smartphones at Night

According to a recent study, the average person spent nearly three hours on their smartphone each day in 2019. And many people develop the bad habit of checking their email, social media, etc. right before bed. But this can be extremely disruptive to your sleep patterns because the blue glow from the screen makes you feel more awake and alert by stopping the production of melatonin — a hormone that helps you sleep. So be sure to stay away from smartphones as well as tablets or computers a few hours before going to bed.

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol Before Bedtime

While caffeine from coffee, sodas and energy drinks is generally okay earlier in the day, you don’t want to consume it anywhere near your bedtime because it takes a long time to get it out of your bloodstream — making it much harder to sleep. And the same is true for alcohol because even though it can potentially help you fall asleep quicker, it reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which negatively impacts the quality of your sleep.

Take Naps Whenever Possible

Maybe you can’t always get a full eight hours of sleep each night. But you can often overcome sleep deprivation by taking naps whenever you get the chance. “There’s evidence that naps are quite productive in restoring functionality,” explains James Herdegen M.D., medical director of the Sleep Science Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “It only takes about an hour of napping to restore about four hours of high-level functioning.”

Sleep deprivation is no laughing matter. Not only does it make you less productive, but it can also potentially be dangerous if you’re working around heavy machinery. Following these four tips should help you develop better sleep habits and keep sleep deprivation at bay.

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