Over the past two weeks I have been talking about sleep and sleep routines
Sleep is a big ticket item when you’re looking to improve your performance (physical and psychological) as well as your overall health
The science is now overwhelming with evidence on the negative impacts poor sleep can have on us
Now armed with the knowledge on how much sleep to get and why it’s important to have a sleep routine…
I wanted to give six of my best tips on how you can improve your sleep at night
On waking first thing in the morning, aim to get at least 10 minutes of sun exposure on your skin. Not only will the morning sun feel great on your skin, it will stop the melatonin production in your brain (the hormone that makes you sleepy)
Avoid caffeine after 12:00pm
Caffeine has a half life of around 5-7 hours, meaning the residual effects will still be present when you go to bed at night. Caffeine is an adenosine receptor inhibitor… meaning adenosine can’t do its job to suppress your central nervous system in preparation for sleep
Reduce fluid intake 60-90 minutes before bed
No doubt you’ve been woken by the need to go pee pee at night around 3-4am. By cutting back on your fluid intake you’ll reduce the need for early morning ‘number 1’s’ giving your body more of a chance to sleep right through
Avoid bright lights or blue lights
In our convenient lives we have access to LOTS of devices that emit blue light. This blue light affects our brain wave activity, reducing our ability to fall into deep sleep. If you’re saying to yourself right now ‘that’s not me’ you’re not immune to it… you’re just used to it! Same guidelines as for fluid intake… switch off or avoid devices 60-90 minutes before bed
Mindfulness can mean different things to different people… In essence this is allowing your brain to slow down and begin moving towards slower brain wave activity. You can achieve this by reading a book, writing in your journal or practicing some form of meditation.
Your bedroom that is! This time of year is fantastic as we literally need nothing to cool down our rooms. When you sleep your core body temp reduces by 2-3 degrees, but the ideal room temp for optimal sleep is anywhere from 18 to 22 degrees celsius. You might find it’s easier to nod off in a cooler room compared to a hot room, our physiology loves it!
In a nutshell there’s six very simple strategies which can improve the quality of your sleep. By combining these you’re asuring you’ll get a restful nights sleep and you’ll be firing on all 8 cylinders the following day.
Which ones resonate with you?