Sleep: It's What's for Dinner
One Simple Way to Gain an Edge Over the Competition
It is critical for health and normal functioning throughout your day. The average American sleeps 6.8 hours per night, which is an hour less than Americans did 75 years ago. Sleep helps your body and mind recover. It is during sleep your body produces critical hormones, solidifies your memories, repairs itself and resets your circadian rhythm. Chronic sleep deficiency can result in an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
Sleep happens in 1.5 hour cycles, so it makes sense to aim for either 6 hours, 7.5 hours, or 9 hours of sleep. Personally, I try to be in bed at 9pm, read for a little while, and then hopefully pass out by 9:30pm. I typically wake up at 5am to get a head start on the day. This gives me ideally 7.5 hours of sleep.
We all know we should get more sleep, but we always seem to have an excuse (or 3) why we can’t. Well, here I have 3 easy and practical tips to incorporate to help you get a good night’s sleep tonight:
Set Your Room Temperature between 60-67 degrees F
Your body temperature naturally decreases to initiate sleep, and having a cooler room can facilitate this process. Any room temperature higher or lower than this can lead to restless sleep and a lack of quality REM sleep. This is the stage of sleep when you are dreaming. This tip is extraordinarily simple to incorporate. If you need help, you should try out Nest:
Get Your Magnesium
Magnesium is well known as a sleep aid, helping people alleviate minor issues with insomnia. Magnesium helps decrease the stress hormone cortisol and aids your muscles in relaxing. There are two great ways to get magnesium. The easiest way is to take a magnesium supplement before bed.
The second way, which is much more relaxing, is to take an Epsom Salt bath before bed. Not only does your body absorb a ton of magnesium through your skin, but a relaxing bath before bed can help calm your mind as well. It can function almost as a meditation. This will also do wonders for sore muscles.
Wake Up at the Same Time Everyday
You may have heard the advice to go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday, even on weekends. This is silly, because people are never going to do this. You want to stay up late and have fun on weekends and so do I. So, instead what you can do to drastically aid sleep is to simply get up at the same time everyday. Forget about going to bed at the same time every night. This is simple during the workweek, but can be difficult on weekends. The trick is to still get up at the same time on weekends, even after a late night, but just take a brief nap during the day if you didn’t sleep enough during the night. This can help you to wake up if it is still dark outside:
That’s it folks. Follow the steps above, and you will definitely be on your way to improved sleep. Now if you still have excuses as to why you can’t do the above, you have one of two problems: you either cannot manage your time efficiently, or your priorities are out of whack. Either way, you can figure it out if you really want to. To help you along this process to better health, check out this sleep tracker:
Now if you are a parent of a new baby, you have a real reason why you can’t get enough sleep. First, congratulations! Two tips to help you sleep more are to switch baby duty every night with your partner, or have a family member or close friend take care of your baby for the night while you and your partner get away.
Just to let readers know, we will soon be coming out with a course, Optimize Your Life, which will give detailed tips backed by scientific research to improve your Mind, Body, and Motivation. You can pre-order this course for a discount until the end of May.
If you want super detailed information about ways and products to improve your sleep, you should check out the world authority on sleep, Nick Littlehales. You can get your personal Sleep Profile from Nick by visiting his website.