Everyone wants different things when it comes to sleep. Some people wish to have relaxing and deep slumbers, some people want to cut their downtime to the bare minimum, and some people want to sleep when they want to.
Deeper and More Relaxing Sleep
Tough times at the office or a hard day’s work can make 8 hours of sleep seem insufficient. Accumulated stress and tension in your body makes sleeping more difficult and less effective. The wrong bed, mattress, or pillows can limit your body’s capacity to relax and recuperate, leaving you tired and sore in the morning. A change in sleeping arrangements should be in order, but what kind of mattress, beddings, and pillows you’ll need will depend on your sleeping position. Most people sleep on their back and require firm beds to keep the back aligned. Latex foam is a good choice, and so are spring mattresses. Side-sleepers need softer mattresses like memory foam or pillow-tops to make sure their circulation doesn’t get cut off with their ever-changing positions. People who lie in bed face down on their stomachs require adequate firm support — but still soft enough to not restrict breathing, maybe with a pillow on the side. Hotel beddings are an excellent example of combinations of adequate comfort and softness, and the combination of firm mattresses, soft pillow-tops, and high-quality pillows is very conducive to sleep. Some hotels have beddings and pillows which you can buy, or you can search for an online supplier.
Short and Staggered Sleep
If you need to get things done and sleeping the usual 8 hours won’t cut it, polyphasic sleep might be a good option. Polyphasic rest is a method of staggering your sleep into small increments similar to taking timed naps. You can find several versions of polyphasic sleep, one limiting sleep to 2 hours a day by taking 15-20 minute naps every 4 hours. Other versions suggest 30-45 minute naps every 6 hours, or 3 hours of sleep followed by three 20-minute naps throughout the day. Famed inventors such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Edison, and Nikola Tesla are documented to have practiced one form of polyphasic sleep. The system is exacting and requires strict discipline. It works well for rushing projects or orders and is quite popular among programmers and (surprisingly) bakers.
Sleeping on a whim or through pure strength of will is impossible for most people. Aside from laying off the caffeine during the evenings, you can also try the military method or the 4-7-8 method. While both ways are void of actual documentation, a good number of people — including real soldiers — attest to their efficacy. The military method is a structural relaxation process combined with biofeedback and conscious suggestions. The 4-7-8 method is a system of breathing and meditation that induces relaxation and sleep. Both methods require a bit of getting used to and can take a few days to show any effect.
Whether you need more sleep, less sleep, or just the ability to sleep instantly, tackle your sleep problems with the right solutions.