What’s the difference between a brown bat and a giraffe? If you said “the ability to fly” or “neck length” you’re on the right track. But of the many, many differences between these two animals, there’s one that might surprise you: The amount of sleep each needs. A brown bat gets nearly 20 hours a day (even on weekdays!), while giraffes nab just 116 minutes. And giraffes don’t drink coffee!
Humans, meanwhile, are somewhere in the middle: We need around 7-8 hours a day, give or take, and if we don’t get the proper Zs there can be some serious health consequences. Thankfully, there are three easy ways to ensure you get enough snooze time without having to dangle from the roof of a cave by your feet:
Unplug: Half an hour of technology-free time before bed will help your mind and body transition smoothly into sleep mode. Avoiding blue light and installing apps that change the screen to provide orange light are also useful.
Unwind: A consistent daily schedule, ending in relaxation, promotes good sleep. Read a book, listen to music, get frisky with your significant other, and then do your best to go to bed at about the same time every night.
Cool it: To help you sleep soundly your bedroom should be the coolest room in your house. Set the thermostat somewhere between 16°C and 19°C. Bonus: your utility bills will go down!
Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.