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5 Ways to Get Better Sleep Without Sleeping More Hours Sleep smarter, not longer.

By Ahmed Safwan Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Getting higher quality sleep will significantly affect your productivity throughout the next day. Many people don't get the full recommended eight hours of sleep every night because they're hustling to build their business. Yet they're still able to have high productivity levels.

The key is that they maximize the benefits from the few hours of sleep they do get. You can get the same results by applying the tips below.

Related: 18 Science-Backed Sleep Tips to Make You More Productive (Infographic)

Use bedtime affirmations.

This is a secret weapon that most people don't know about. I learned about this tip from Hal Elrod in The Miracle Morning book. You can use the power of affirmation to set your mind up for the best sleep, even if it's just for a few hours.

For example, you could say, "I'm going to wake up at (insert whatever time you're going to wake up), and that will be more than enough sleep to get me up and running." Priming your subconscious mind to get the most out of the time available to sleep is a great way to wake up happy and productive.

Nap the right way or don't do it at all.

Napping is great to help you get past the 3 p.m. slump and be productive for the rest of the day. The problem is, most people do it wrong. First of all, nap for less than 30 minutes or take an hour and half. Second, try to take your nap, especially if it's a short one, between 1-3 p.m. This way you will get better REM sleep.

If you take it after 4 p.m., your body will go into a long cycle, and you won't be able to wake up. You'll be like a zombie. That's why if you can't do it the right way, don't do it at all.

Related: Will You Actually Be More Productive If You Take a Nap Every Day?

Exercise is your best ally.

Another great way to set yourself up for higher quality sleep is to do some intense exercises a few hours before sleeping. The ideal time to exercise is about 6 p.m. When you're exhausted, your mind will go into deep cycles fast, giving you more time in the deep cycle, thus giving you higher quality sleep.

I have been exercising for a few months, mainly to avoid depression through the secretion of endorphins. But a side benefit is that I am getting much better sleep quality at night, and I am waking up feeling productive. I even have the opportunity -- and energy -- to work on my side business for a few hours before going to college.

Sleep alone when you can.

There's nothing worse than being disturbed in the middle of your sleep, especially when you're in the deep part of the cycle. Studies have shown people who sleep in the same bed with someone else suffer 50 percent more harmful sleep disturbances. Why decrease your sleep quality if you can sleep alone?

A hot bath before sleep.

This is something I learned from Arianna Huffington. She says that a hot bath is a very important part of her before-bed routine. I tested it out myself, and I can't go back. It is scientifically proven that it primes you to get into sleep faster. Having a hot bath after going to the gym is an important key to get better sleep, too.

Wake at the right moment.

Our sleep consists of cycles, which usually repeat every 90 minutes. Wake up in the middle of it, and you will feel groggy for the rest of the day. Wake up at the end of the cycle -- before a new cycle begins -- and you will feel refreshed. Be intentional about how much you sleep so that you get complete cycles. Use Sleepyti.me to help you calculate when to sleep.

Another great tip to prevent waking up in the middle of the cycle is to use an app like Smart Sleep to analyze your sleep, and when you start to get deep into the cycle, it wakes you up, even if it is 10 minutes earlier than your scheduled alarm. Those 10 minutes are the difference between feeling unrested and having a highly productive day.

Related: Want a Jumpstart? Get 30 Minutes More Sleep, Says a New Study.

Sleep is important.

I'm sure you know by now that sleep is really important. While these hacks will help you sleep less, don't take it too far by reducing your sleep too much.

Ahmed Safwan

Entrepreneur while still 20

Ahmed Safwan is building a freelancing business while studying to be a dentist but still finds time to enjoy with friends.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.


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