Tips to Better Sleep: The Importance of Sleep
While many consider fitness and nutrition to be the two-headed dragon when it comes to peak health and performance, we tend to forget about the third - sleep.
A quality sleeping regimen is of the utmost importance, if not more important, than regular exercise and proper nutrition. Without a good night's rest, you immediately increase the risks of experiencing negative side-effects like poor-performance, slower cognition, mood swings, hormone fluctuation, weight gain, depression, and more!
An improved sleeping regimen can provide immediate benefits! And the best part of it's FREE...think about that!
In today's digital age, workaholics and the "grind-life" are often put on a pedestal. All of this can lead to nagging ailments such as neck pains, headaches, skin changes, itching, recovery from exercise, behavior, and a hard time focusing on work. These problems can lead to poor sleep cycles, lack of rest and recovery, and, ultimately - burnout.
Here are some factors that can disrupt your sleep/wake cycles.
1. Stimulants-you have a pick me up when you're tired tradition. Most people will reach for sweet or caffeinated beverages like coffee. They also had four a nicotine fix with a cigarette. Caffeine, sugar, and tobacco are all stimulants that excite your sympathetic nervous system (your fight or flight response), and you release cortisol; cortisol tells your brain that it's time to get up in the morning and take action. As I've just written an article on coffee, caffeine is the most famous stimulant of all. Caffeine has a half-life of about six hours, depending upon your size and your liver's ability to detoxify the chemical. So if you drink coffee at 6 am, 300 mg caffeine (Starbucks cold brew as an example)half of it is still in your body at noon or hundred and 150 mg. This is where people get confused about half-lives. A half-life is a half-life; a half-life is a half-life. So at 6 pm, you still have 75 mg of caffeine. So basically, you still have a lot of caffeine in your system when you want to go to bed. Imagine drinking that cup of Starbucks cold brew at noon, and you can see how half-lives can kill your sleep off.
2. Electromagnetic pollution-you're being exposed to electromagnetic energies at all times, so turning off the TV, the computer, the phone, etc., will help you in your sleep cycle.
Instead, we need to flip the switch on what is truly important so that we can tackle life with a new vengeance.
Benefits of Quality Sleep
Some of the benefits of a proper sleeping regimen are:
• Reduced stress;
• Improved mood;
• Improved performance;
• Weight maintenance ;
• Improved brain function;
• Improved mood;
• Lower health/blood markers;
• And more!
As you can tell, this list could be quite lengthy. Above are just a few of the more prominent benefits that we've come to understand.
So, how can one improve their sleep? Great question! Below, I offer some helpful tips that you can implement into your daily/nightly routines immediately! Let's get into it.
Tips to Better Sleep
While we won't go into detail on every tip, below is a list of information that you can begin to consider and, hopefully, implement:
• Reduce light exposure before bedtime (especially blue light, emitted by digital devices!);
• Avoid overconsumption of caffeine during the day (and avoid it all together closer to bedtime!);
• Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day by 10:30 pm (consistency is key!);
• Set your bedroom temperature to an optimal 70 degrees;
• Consider natural melatonin supplements, if needed;
• If you're a workaholic, schedule your day to END in the early evening (downtime and unwinding are critical to a restful sleep!);
• Optimize your lifestyle (i.e., exercise regularly, eat healthily, etc.);
• If you struggle with sleep, avoid alcohol, sugar, screen-time, etc.
• Drink plenty of water, one-half your body weight in ounces per day.
Sleep is undeniable by looking at the critical role it plays in an optimal, healthy lifestyle. Study after study continues to pop-up to further verify this fact.
Hopefully, if you haven't yet considered it to be a crucial aspect of health, this article has enlightened you. If nothing else, don't become overwhelmed or concerned. Choose two or three tips from the list above and give it a try.
You'll thank yourself later!