Do you have a hard time falling asleep? Do you toss and turn all night? Wake up for a couple of hours? Do you have insomnia? Do you sleep more than 8 hours but yet wake up feeling tired? Do you want to get more sleep, and not just quantity but quality sleep?
The social stigma of sleep is that it’s for the weak. There’s nothing further from the truth. You get weaker if you lack sleep. You gain so much strength, focus, and energy when you get quality rest. Think of a power nap. You feel better after that restful event. Think about mini breaks from work. You’re more efficient when you get back to work. Other benefits include less sweet cravings, less binging, and less caffeine dependence.
It’s like never recharging your phone. Every so often, you do a hard reset on your smartphone so it functions better. Why can’t you do the same for your body? Some people just don’t know better and this is what this article will help you do. You’ll learn how to avoid stimulants, improve your sleep routines, take food, supplements, vitamins that help you sleep better at night, and even track the quality of your sleep with apps.
With the technology of today, it’s harder to wind down with 24/7 lights, blue lights from electronics, distractions from Netflix and social media, and stimulants that make you more focused at work but makes it harder for you to wind down at night.
Exercise actually makes you weaker. You put micro tears on your muscles hence the sore feeling the day after your workout. But because of your intense workouts, you sleep better at night. Numerous studies show you sleep better at night when you workout first thing in the morning. When you don’t exercise, you don’t use your energy for the right things. The harder you go, the deeper the sleep. This is life, it’s cyclical. I’m sure you’ve experienced a productive day where you worked hard, exercised harder, and slept deeper because of that. If you don’t work hard during the day, you don’t give your body the chance for deep sleep.
Following the rise and fall of the sun releases the right chemicals to wake you up in first thing in the morning while the sunset releases melatonin to relax you into sleep. Sleeping 8 hours from 3 am to 11 am is not the same as sleeping from 10 pm and up at 6 am. And if you do it right, you should never need an alarm clock to wake you up. Your body knows when it’s done recharging. The only reason you need the alarm clock is because you sleep too late in the night and have to get up early for work.
We aren’t nocturnal beings so we shouldn’t sleep during the day. We are morning larks, not night owls. The only reason why some people say they aren’t a morning person is because they’ve trained themselves to sleep late at night. This is a bad habit that has developed just like nail biting, smoking, drinking, or any other bad habits. We are creatures of habit and we don’t discriminate between a bad or good habit. Once they retrain their body to sleep the way it was designed to, they will feel and function a lot better than they did. It’s just that they can’t compare because of months, years, or even decades of this poor habit of sleeping late.
You can learn how to finish sleep cycles and wake up after a cycle. This is the difference between waking up rested versus groggy. We typically sleep an average of 4 – 6 sleep cycles. Each sleep cycle last about 90 minutes. This is why you can sleep 4.5 hours and feel rested versus waking up with the alarm 6.5 hours later and feel like getting out of bed is a mission in itself. With apps on your fitbit, Apple watch, or other apps on you smartphone can track the quality of your sleep, how many sleep cycles you go through each night. There are five stages of each cycle which includes REM and deep sleep. The best practice is to wake up, if you have to, with the alarm set after each cycle.
When you lack sleep, you tend to eat more processed foods high in sugar because this is what your body starts to crave. Your brain needs glucose to run optimally and when you lack sleep, your body and brain needs more of this. So another great reason to get enough sleep is to help curb cravings.
When you lack sleep, you require more stimulants like caffeine but if you consume too much caffeine because you’re not getting enough sleep in the first place, this makes you sleep shallower at night. And because of shallow sleep, you need more coffee the next day. This becomes a horrifying downward spiraling cycle. Caffeine has a half life of 6 hours, which means your last cup of java shouldn’t be later than 3pm so you wind down better at night. Caffeine shouldn’t be a daily thing and should only be used when you need it. It’s like nitros for a race car. You don’t rely on it to drive you but only use it when you need that boost. Sleep, food, and supplements should be the ways to energize your day. You can also cycle between stimulants like white tea, green tea, black tea, oolong tea, and not just coffee. This way, you don’t build a tolerance to one certain stimulant. It’s like alcohol, if you drink regularly, you need more alcohol to get drunk.
If you have winding up rituals to set you up for the day like caffeine, workouts, stretching, etc., you should also have winding down rituals to prepare you for sleep like meditation, sleepy tea, essential oils, reading a book, or journaling. Setting the mood really helps trains your body to sleep better at night.
Another thing you can do to improve the quality of your sleep is to improve the air quality of your bedroom with indoor plants like aloe vera, jasmine, bamboo palm, golden pothos, red edged dracaena, english ivy, peace lily, valerian, spider plant, snake plant, gardenia, and gerbera daisies. You can also get an air diffuser and put a few drops of essential oils that have been proven to help you sleep at night like lavender, valerian, bergamot, vetiver, roman chamomile, ylang ylang, sandalwood, marjoram, and cedarwood.
I suggest signing up for my 20 minute webinar to learn more about how to improve your sleep.