The secret to a great night's sleep

Sleep your way to a salary increase

With many still struggling to get the recommended eight hours in bed a night, there's a new incentive to make sure you get enough sleep. A US study has found that getting more beauty sleep can also help you earn more. 

Research showed that in countries where the sun sets earlier, people sleep for longer, converting into higher earnings. Just one extra hour of sleep per week can increase wages by 4.9 percent. However, for those who can't switch off, more sleep surely means less working time?

Sleep desk

The answer is increased productivity, with employees who get the recommended amount of sleep per night being more motivated, and providing more creative solutions. Researchers from the University of California say that not getting enough sleep can even make you more susceptible to catching the common cold - which could lead to time off!

So how can you make sure you're getting enough sleep?

Lose your distractions

With the recommended amount of sleep being seven to nine hours per night, our resident sleep expert Dr Nerina recommends switching technology off up to an hour before you go to bed. 

One in eight of us keeps our mobile phone switched on in the bedroom at night. Experts claim that this makes us 'hyper-vigilant', which increases the risk that our sleep will be disturbed. This makes it harder for us to get the restorative sleep we need.

Apple introduced a nightshift mode earlier this year because their studies showed that the blue backlight on its devices can make it harder to fall asleep in the evenings. 

You snooze, you win

If you're someone who generally struggles to get the suggested eight hours per night, all is not lost. 

As many people have a natural dip in energy levels at around 3pm, Dr Nerina says naps are great. If you are able to catch some shuteye, this can have a 'reset' effect on your body which makes you more productive.

Nerina says: "A power nap is 10-20 minutes in which you will be aware of thoughts, noises and sensations but at the same time will be in a deep state of relaxation - not asleep but not awake."

This makes the sleep pods at Google's HQ seem slightly less bizarre. In fact, US insurance group Aetna even pays its staff to get a good night's sleep, rewarding them for getting at least seven hours per night. Check out Manchester city centre business BrightHR, who have opened a nap room in their office to encourage staff to take a short sleep during working hours here.

So getting a few extra hours at night could not only make heavy eyes lighter, but wallets heavier.

If you've got any tips for switching off at night share them with us on our Facebook and Twitter using #MySleepSecret.

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