You know that feeling of waking up exhausted – your eyelids are heavy like they’re glued down and the snooze button is your sweet sweet saviour. Maybe you decided to stay up late to watch of few extra episodes of Prison Break on Netflix. Or maybe you tried to go to sleep early and just ended up tossing and turning in your bed restlessly – waking up and answering text messages getting in a game of Candy Crush or two in between your sporadic periods of sleep.
Unfortunately, lack of good quality sleep can effect you physically and mentally. Not only does sleep deprivation lower your level of performance and impede your recovery but it can also change your hormonal profile to be less than optimal.
Taking a Laissez-Faire approach with sleep may work for people who don’t have structured schedules – however for those of us who need to wake up consistently at the same time we also need to make sure we are going to bed at the same time to ensure that we get the appropriate quantity and quality of sleep.
So how can you make sure that you are rested and ready to carpe the hell out of the diem when you wake up in the morning?
- Address quantity of sleep: Most people need anywhere from 7-8hrs of sleep. Knowing this calculate what time you need to go to sleep at and plan to start a sleep hygiene routine one hour prior to going to sleep. (Eg. I need to wake up at 5am and I need a minimum of 7hrs of sleep to feel rested, therefor I must be asleep by 10pm in order to wake up and not feel like I’m a zombie who was hit by a train.) Be dilligent with sticking to your sleep routine and eventualy it will happen naturally, your body will prepare itself to be sleepy by your bedtime and you’ll eventually start waking up without needing an alarm.
- Address sleep hygiene: Sleep hygiene consists of everything you do prior to laying down to sleep and setting up your sleep setting. There are several important things you should do to make sure your unwinding appropriately:
- Make sure your room is cool and dark; black out any lights that may be emitted from TVs, internet routers, etc.
- Don’t watch TV or use electronics before going to bed
- Avoid stimulants in the afternoon (coffee, caffeinated teas, energy drinks, chocolate, etc.)
- Do not eat large meals close to your bedtime
- Do not do vigorous exercise close to your bedtime – try to do this in the morning or early afternoon
- Limit the use of your bed to sleeping – do not watch TV, use your computer, read or write while in your bed
- Take the time to write a list of all the things that are running through your mind before your bedtime (this is called a “brain dump”) – this will allow you to fall asleep easier if overthinking is a problem
- Practice relaxtion techniques such as meditation or progressive relaxation before going to bed
Simply doing a few of things will improve the quality of your sleep which will allow you to feel more energized, be rested, perform better, and recover better. The implementation of a good bedtime routine is a game changer for the majority of people. It can hard to understand just exactly what you are missing when you’re not already getting that good quality 7-8hrs of sleep per night, but once you do, you’ll feel the impact right away.
What are you currently doing to manage your sleep? Are you going to try out any of these tips? Did this article help you?
Let your comments and inquiries below and I will respond promptly 🙂