When it comes to being successful and living a full life there is one key ingredient we often undervalue – sleep. But sleep is critical to our health, wealth and happiness.

If you’ve ever experienced a few sleepless nights you’ll know what I’m talking about. You don’t think clearly, find it hard to concentrate, you are more irritable and the exhaustion is debilitating. How can you possibly live to the fullest like that?

So in case you are treating sleep like it is an optional extra or you are having a hard time getting much of it, here are some tips to help you unwind and sleep your way to the top!

1. Watch your caffeine and sugar intake

Keep reaching for that coffee or sugar burst to boost your energy through the day? While it can do the trick for a short while, it can end up making you feel worse, more reliant and affect your sleep patterns. If you need a “pick me up” in the afternoon reach for an apple instead. The natural sugars in an apple can pick you up just as well as a coffee and the energy boost will last longer too.

2. Take a power nap

While the optimal timeframe for a nap is 20 minutes, research has shown that as little as six minutes of sleep through the day can cement learning, improve memory and regenerate your brain. If you can manage 20 minutes, it can have the same benefits as 2-3 hours sleep!  There’s a reason great companies let their staff take a nap through the day.

3. Power down

Research is consistently showing that light from smart phones, tablets and computers can be detrimental to our sleep. Light affects how much melatonin is produced; the more light the less melatonin. For a good night’s sleep melatonin needs to increase. 

While your natural body clock will produce high levels as night draws near, continued exposure to screens before bed and during night will decrease your melatonin and affect your sleep – so make sure you power down!

4. Use essential oils

Using essential oils like Vetiver or Sandalwood in a vaporiser at bedtime can help you switch off and relax so you can enjoy a good night’s sleep. 

Try vaporising the “Sanity Saver” blend that contains Vetiver, Geranium, Australian Sandalwood, Patchouli and Ylang Ylang. This simple and earthy blend stops your mind racing so that you can focus on one thing at once – like sleeping! 

5. Set a sleep routine

Having a regular sleep routine is important for our health and wellbeing, particularly when we have such busy schedules. Choose the time you want to go to bed each night, and make sure you are slowing down at least an hour or two before it. You body clock will adjust and you will tend to wake around the same time each morning. 

Most adults need around 8 hours sleep and research has shown that less than seven hours can produce difficulty in concentration, affect moods and lower our immune system.  To get the best sleep possible aim to be in bed by 10.30pm.

Is it time you start sleeping your way to the top?