It’s no secret that most folks don’t get nearly enough sleep. We are in a constant state of stress and most people are chronically tired. Mental health and wellness can be directly tied to how well we sleep at night. Research has shown that lack of proper sleep can lead to cold and the flu, heart disease, depression and even diabetes.
Scientists are in agreement that the dawn of the industrial age with its artificial lights and change in how we work and live gave rise to sleeping issues across society.
A century later we have started to identify ways that you can improve your sleep. You don’t have to ditch electricity and go back to living on a caveman schedule, but there are several simple tricks you can do to promote healthier sleep patterns.
Since we know that good sleep patterns play such an important role in our overall health and wellness it pays to take the time to learn everything you can about what to do to get a good night’s sleep.
Your body has an amazing ability to heal and rejuvenate itself, but it needs a good night’s sleep each night in order to do this. You may think your being an extra hard worker by burning the midnight oil each night, but you are doing your body a great disservice and chances are if you don’t get enough sleep you aren’t living up to your full potential.
The importance of a good night’s sleep is something that most people neglect. You may think you are being more productive by only sleeping for 5 hours a night, but you are just making yourself feel shitty. The body requires a solid night sleep in order to recharge and work at peak efficiency. If you really want to succeed a good night’s sleep is absolutely vital to working at your very best. Your human potential can only be reached by having good habits both mentally and physically. So next time you decide to work past midnight, save that work for the morning and hit the sack early instead. Your body and mind will thank you for it!
Here are 7 ways that you can improve your sleep quality and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to get things done!
1. Stretch before you hit the sack
I know, nobody likes to stretch. It hurts, is unconformable and might be a hassle. But there is nothing like the feeling you get after a good stretch. You blood flow will increase to your muscles and your body will work better. Even doing as little as 15-20 minutes of stretching daily has been linked to lower blood pressure, lower risk of injury during exercise and better sleep quality. You don’t need to be a yoga expert to do a simple stretching routing before bed, just sit down and do 10-15 minutes of light stretching to start. Checkout this is an excellent video that shows an easy to learn 5 minute daily stretching routine for beginners.
2. Shut off the television
I’m willing to bet that you have probably stayed up later than you should have because you started getting into a show that you found while channel surfing. Everyone does it as some point, but watching television right before bed is a bad habit that can chip away at quality and vital sleep time. Try to turn the television off at least 1 hour before your normal bedtime so that you are not distracted by watching something that will run over into your sleep time. Besides this, research has shown that the visual stimulus of the television can disrupt our natural circadian rhythms and make it extremely difficult to get to sleep at night. So shut off that television and get some quality sleep, remember you need to be at your best so you can kick ass tomorrow!
3. Exercise hard during the day
Your body is a ball of energy, and we were never designed to sit on our ass in a cubicle all day long staring at artificial lights. You need to get that energy out and exhaust yourself physically. The best way to do that is through regular vigorous exercise. You don’t have to kill yourself, but try to get at least 30 minutes of hard exercise in per day. I highly recommend getting yourself into a kettlebell routine to work your cardio and strength at the same time. A confident and complete person should be exercising the body daily in order to ensure you are at peak mental capacity. Exercise has been shown to have a HUGE benefit when it comes to sleeping through the night, and combining this with a stretching routine will almost ensure you sleep like a baby at night. Don’t let yourself make excuses, everyone have an hour a day they can spare to exercise, if you don’t then you need to take a serious look at your lifestyle and make some changes before you die of a heart attack.
4. Read a book in bed
Looking for something to do to help your mind wind down during the day? Turn off that television and pick up a book. Preferably something that will increase your mastery of a subject you are interested in learning about. While most folks are watching boring reality shows, you should be expanding your knowledge and increasing your mental capacity. This will not only help you wind down before sleep, but it will keep you mentally sharp and on point. Reading is a great way to spend an hour or two before you get to sleep and does not have a tendency to keep you awake like watching television does. Although who doesn’t get caught up in a good book right?
5. Resist the rollover signal
This is a tip you won’t hear most people say, but this has worked wonders for me. When you are sleeping on your back and you get the overwhelming urge to rollover, you MUST resist that urge and continue to lay still on your back. The idea is that your brain is checking to see if your body is ready to fall asleep by sending a signal to roll over. It will do this several times during the night until you eventually fall asleep, so if you are able to ignore this signal and stay laying on your back you will be surprised at how quickly you can actually fall asleep at night. Sounds crazy right!? Well give it a try next time you’re lying in bed and you get that overwhelming urge to roll over onto your side, you may wake up the next morning and not remember when you actually fell asleep.
6. Sleep in total darkness
We are naturally adept to sleeping in total darkness. When we sleep with lights on our body tends to be confused and it can disrupt our natural hormonal system. When you sleep in a completely dark room your body start to excrete chemicals and hormones to help your body achieve REM sleep. It is important to shut off any electronics or chargers that might emit oddly colored lights. This means shut off night lights and turn off that phone. Sleeping in total darkness will do wonders to increase how deeply you sleep through the night.
7. Control your room temperature
Sleeping in a cool environment will increase the chances that you sleep throughout the night. Try to keep your room at a cool comfortable 75 degrees and get a small desk fan to help circulate the air in your room. Not only will the cool air of the fan help you stay asleep, but the sound of the fan can help create white noise which helps us get to sleep. Cool environments will promote your body to enter a restful state, while hot environments tend to keep us awake and alert.
We know it can be hard to create a sleep schedule in today’s information age with so many electronics and distractions. It seems there is always something to do, but you need to learn to function off your internal clock and unplug when it’s time for rest. You will notice the difference in your overall health, mind and well being when you are sleep deprived. Some of the effects are memory problems, moodiness, depression, weight gain, high blood pressure and even type 2 diabetes. So, now that you know how to fall asleep faster there should be no reason why you are staying up for countless hours and depriving your body of sleep when it’s usually unnecessary.
We hope you enjoyed these helpful tips on how to fall asleep faster so you can wake up rejuvenated and full of energy. Your most productive time of the day is usually early mornings, so start trying to go to bed a little earlier and waking up a little earlier, you will thank us in the long run.