5 Ways to Sleep Better Tonight

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5 tips for a good nights sleepepSos.de

Sleep is a fundamental key to our health and our success.  It’s vastly underrated and undervalued, and I’m going to keep hammering that point.  Being tired is just the body’s way of saying… “yo, dumb dumb… go to bed already.  I have a lot of repairs so you can be ready for tomorrow.”

 

Habits are by far our best friends and worst enemies.  The fact that you are even reading this is proof that you care about your health.  Well, I’m here to tell you that habits, not will power will make all the difference.  Awareness and discipline when life is going smoothly, will create habits that see us through the crappy times.  This is true with everything, including sleep!

 

1.  Get Physical

Even if you’re working out 4 times a week, don’t completely skip your off days.  On those off days, you’ll reduce your stress and sleep much better by being active.  Sometimes it helps to add little life hacks to make it happen.  For example, when I lived in St Paul, the Como Zoo was on my way to work.  It’s a free zoo and the Timberwolves were located on an outside fence.  Without going into the park, I could walk the fence each morning and interact with the wolves without anyone else around.  It was something I looked forward to each day, and I actually got to be buds with the big alpha male.

 

2. Stay Out of the Kitchen

Don’t drink or eat anything within 2 hours before bed.  It works best to have a cut off time.  If you plan on going to bed at 10pm, then draw a hard line in the sand at 8pm.  Sugar can drastically affect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.  I know how easy it is to sit in front of the tube and have a cup of tea, can of bee,r or glass of wine to unwind before bed, but we both know your bladder will come a knockin’.  The beer and wine are double trouble, since the alcohol will negatively affect your sleep cycle.  Have the drink with dinner, not before bed.

 

3. Temperature, Temperature, Temperature

A warm bath or shower will help you relax and the increased temperature induces sleep.  On the flip side, even if you’re a hot freak, your bedroom should be on the cool side.  Your body will drop it’s internal thermostat at night, and there’s a limit to how much clothes and blankets you can shed.  Keep your room cooler and add a blanket or 2… socks too.

 

4.  Light, Lights, Lights

We are just not designed for 24 hour daylight, but that’s exactly what’s going on.  Melatonin in our body’s sleep juice, and unlike Dracula, it’s not just afraid of the sun.  It’s not practical or realistic to avoid all sources of artificial light when the sun goes down, but you can take simple steps that will make a huge difference.  Turn down the lights as it gets closer to bedtime, and turn off everything with a screen at least 90 minutes before lights out.  Use nightlights in the bathroom so you don’t have to blast yourself with 300 watts at 2am.  Take extra steps to insure your bedroom is completely dark.  Simply being aware of just how important light is to your sleep quality is the first step.

 

5.  Relax

“But the TV is how I relax!”  Lots of us were brought up on high doses of pre-bedtime TV and it’s just so darn easy to have it on.  However, studies have shown that all our bright screens, including the TV, affect sleep (see point #4).  Since the TV, the computer, and the Ipad is off for the night, you have time for that warm bath and some reading.  If tomorrow’s to-do’s are running thru your mind, then write it all down quick and put it away.  Meditate, talk, stretch, listen to music (not that kind of music), pray, reflect, journal… relax.

 

We all get busy and take sleep for granted, but it’s every bit as important as what we eat.  It’s critical that we take our sleep seriously, and make a conscious effort to form great sleep habits.

 

See Sleep Fitness Article

 

What are some tips you have for a great nights sleep?

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Co-Founder of NutritionGeeks, retired USAPL drug-free powerlifter, volunteer youth wrestling coach, father of 3 amazing boys and interested in all things health

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