SLEEP – it can be our best friend or our worst enemy.
That third of our entire lives that we spend laying on our back can be a mat of welcomed pleasure or make us feel more like a welcome mat – flat out & worn out.
So, how can we ensure that our time between the sheets is rejuvenating & repairing?
Unfortunately, this isn’t one of the top five, however, these are:
THE TOP 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP
- Wake at the same time every day.
- Eliminate caffeine after 2pm.
- For every part one (1) of alcohol = one (1) hour before sleep, e.g. two glasses of wine that you finish at 9pm means don’t sleep until 11pm.
- Reduce body temperature just before sleeping (a cool shower can do this)
- Drink one (1) litre of water upon waking (add lemon/lime to increase absorption)
(Dr. Michael J. Breus)
1. Wake at the same time every day.
No matter what happens the night before – an early one, a late one, or an elongated session of the aforementioned, waking at the same time every morning is paramount to setting the biological rhythm.
2. Eliminate caffeine after 2pm.
Caffeine has a half life of eight (8) hours so you want to minus that from your desired bed time.
Give your brain the chance to get clear before you lat it down to repair… otherwise, you’ll have a whole bunch of Homer Simpsons (or better yet, Hans Moleman’s children) running around in your head while you’re passed out. Why? Alcohol:
- Keeps you from reaching the deep stages of sleep
- Dehydrates you
- Awakens you in the middle of the night (usually to go to the bathroom)
4. Reduce body temperature just before sleeping.
Exercise can be great (the aforementioned included) but if you find that your body temperature doesn’t come down for some time it is probably best to move those exercises to the morning or the day (4 hours before bed is ideal). Also, cooling your body down by taking a cool shower (not Wim Hof cold) to reduce core body temperature is a great tool for those who feel the heat between the sheets.
5. Drink one (1) litre of water upon waking.
Sleep dehydrates the body & mind. Avoid the need to ‘wake up with coffee’ and enjoy a litre of water (with lemon or lime) to allow the hydration of cells and get them firing for the day ahead… then get your coffee to double the artillery!
While you’re drinking your water, get outside (if you can) in the sun for 15 minutes each morning, this helps to regulate the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone
“Unfortunately, unlike our cave-dwelling ancestors who rose with the sun and retired with the moon, most of us let the demands of everyday life dictate the times for sleeping and rising. Millions of people today force their bodies to adjust to artificial sleep schedules, negatively affecting both their sleep and their health.”
– Dr. Michael J. Breus
There is obviously way more to the game of quality sleep than simply these five, but it’s a starting point to see where you’re starting from.
If you’re struggling to enjoy laying down at night perhaps do some personal research into other methods, such as ‘To Do’ lists, mind dumps, journalling, meditation, gratitude diary, M&PP’s ‘Dawn to Dust’ module, sleep doctors, sleep clinics… the sleep support list goes on & on.
But, in my opinion, the most important method for a good night’s sleep is a good day’s ‘work’ – ‘work’ that is totally aligned with who you are, what you believe in & your purpose for being here; feeling like you’ve contributed to that purpose in a meaningful way; & to have compete clarity within your relationships, with others & the self.
Try these on & let me know how it feels.