When life gets a little busy one of the first things we tend to sacrifice is sleep. Which is really bad news as good quality sleep makes us better at just about every single thing we do.

With a solid eight hours under our belt we are more accurate, more decisive, make better decisions, have a better memory, a better sense of humour, and get this, we’re even more attractive. Yep, beauty sleep is a real thing.

Not only does sleep make us more productive it also keeps us healthy. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to increased risk of just about every health condition you can name. From diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and even Alzheimer’s, to anxiety, stress and depression. Yikes!

So, you can see, sleep is pretty freaking important. Even if you have a busy schedule it is vitally important that you make sure you give yourself at least an eight-hour sleep opportunity each and every night. I know that might sound impossible to you right now but the benefits cannot be underestimated.

Don’t despair, there are many little sleep-improving life hacks you can make to improve your odds of a better nights rest. Below are four top tips on how to sleep better with a hectic schedule.

Exercise daily

There is almost nothing that can compare to the sleep-inducing power of daily exercise. Getting a little bit out of breath every day has been proven to not only improve sleep duration but also sleep quality and daytime sleepiness levels too.

Fitting time to exercise into a busy schedule can often seem impossible but it’s all about getting creative. Instead of taking that meeting with your colleague in the office, why not having a walking meeting. Not only do people tend to think more creatively whilst walking, you will also be burning some calories, improving your sleep and importantly exposing yourself to some much-needed daylight.

Get outside more

One of the biggest problems the busiest amongst us face is finding time to get outside. So many of us go from our home, to work and back home without ever feeling the sun or wind on our face. This is especially true if you live in more northern parts of the world come the winter months.

This lack of exposure to daylight means bad news for our ability to sleep. You see the human brain has evolved to associate sleep with darkness and alertness with light. When we deprive it of one or the other our body clock tends to malfunction a little and our sleep suffers as a result.

 Exposing ourselves to as much daylight as possible in the morning plays a very important role in keeping our body clock ticking along nicely. My suggestion, get off the train or bus a few stops early and walk the last mile or so into work.

Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary

When you have a busy schedule it can be far too easy to allow your work life to bleed into your home life. With the omnipresence of smartphones and the internet, to a large extent, there is no separation between the two anymore. But just because you can take work calls and emails whilst lying in bed doesn’t mean you should. Far from it.

The human brain is incredibly powerful at building associations, it does it all the time as a way of saving energy. If you do other things in your bedroom apart from sleep, such as watching tv or replying to work emails, your brain will begin to associate your bed with that and it will make it much harder to fall asleep.

If you suffer from sleeping conditions, like sleep apnea, it’s also crucial to manage those. Consider sleeping devices like a CPAP machine to ensure a proper nights sleep.

Reclaim your bed for sleep, leave your phone at the door at night and your sleep will thank you for it. More handy tidbits of information like this can be found over at The Sleep Advisor | Healthy Sleep Tips, News and Product Reviews.

Make a date to meditate

I know what you’re thinking, ‘I’m too busy to meditate’. You probably think that because you’ve never done it.

Nobody has more to gain from meditation than those that think they are too busy to do it. Ten minutes given over to meditation a day can have an impact much greater than ten minutes spent doing anything else.

Meditation improves the brain’s ability to focus and with focus suddenly you find yourself achieving tasks far quicker than your previously thought imaginable. Not only that, with a clarity of thought comes the ability to identify with tasks are important at all.

Mediation has the added ability to quieten a worried mind, something that keeps many of us awake at night. With the chattering monkey mind silenced sleep comes a lot quicker.

Well, there you have it four tips to help improve our odds of a quality night sleep even when faced with a hectic schedule. Sweet dreams!