Sleep is critical to high performance in whatever endeavour you choose. All high performers have it dialled in. But sleep is often one part of our lives that we neglect.
Neglecting sleep in insidious. Studies have shown that after 6 hours of sleep your cognitive performance suffers, and you don’t even realize it!
Sleep keeps us healthy, regulates our hormones, gives us mental clarity, happiness, and rejuvenates us. Fat loss is impossible without sleep.
A bad night’s sleep leaves us cranky, tired, lethargic, unhappy, and sometimes in pain. Poor sleep always leaves you feeling hungry because it messes with your blood sugar levels.
So let’s ensure we know how to sleep as best we can so we feel amazing all the time.
1. Impose An Electronic Screen Curfew
Studies prove that staring at a smartphone, iPad, TV, or computer screen 90 minutes before bed will disrupt your sleep.
Looking at the artificial blue light emitted by electronic screens suppresses your melatonin secretion and triggers your body to produce more daytime hormones like cortisol.
Melatonin helps you get deep, anabolic sleep.
You may be able to fall asleep soon after using your electronics. But it disorients your body’s natural preparation for sleep, which means you will wake up tired.
So commit to switching off all electronics two hours before sleep. Sometimes things come up in the real world so consider installing f.lux for free on your computer.
It dims the screen’s artificial light.
2. Wear Blue Blocking Glasses
Ok, let’s be honest. You don’t want to switch those electronics off 90 minutes before bed do you?! Haha :)
You just ignored Tip One, didn’t you? That’s OK. ;)
You can solve this problem by wearing blue-blocking glasses, like Swannies to block the artificial blue light.
So...90 minutes before sleep, put your Swannies on and continue to look at your smart phones, watch TV, or work on your computer.
This option is not as good as Tip One, which is switching off all electronics.
But if you’re addicted to your electronics (aren’t we all?!), blocking the blue light from wearing Swannies will help your body naturally prepare for sleep. You can then fall asleep faster and sleep deeper.
Get ready to wake up feeling refreshed!
3. Black Out Your Room
Humans sleep more deeply in a dark environment. When we were cavemen (and cavewomen), we slept when the sun went down and in darkness. You couldn’t see anything, so you might as well have gone to sleep.
Today, we have so much artificial light in our lives like light-bulbs and electronics -- we often do not sleep in total darkness. It’s a modern problem.
Having any light sources in your bedroom can disrupt your sleep patterns. Your skin actually has receptors that pick up light.
If there’s light in your bedroom, your body is sensing it and sending messages to your brain that interferes with your sleep. Invest in dark, heavy curtains that completely block out outside light. Make your room a cave. And eliminate your alarm clock with its white or blue digits staring at you. Cover it up before you sleep, or get an alarm clock with a dimmer, or throw it out and get a better alarm clock without the digital screen.
TVs in the bedroom are linked to obesity and poor education in children. Couples with TVs in their bedroom reportedly have 50% less sex!
So black out your room and sleep in complete darkness. Your sleep will improve dramatically.
4. Get More Sunlight
Science proves that getting more sunlight -- especially early-morning sunlight -- helps you sleep better at night. Your body has a natural biological clock called your “circadian rhythm”.
It wants to know when it’s daytime and nighttime.
So go outside, stand in the sun, and tell your body it’s daytime. When you expose your body to sunlight, your body “wakes up” triggering natural daytime hormones.
The body clock is most responsive to early morning sunlight, between 6am and 8:30 am.
So when you wake up, go for a walk for at least 30 minutes.
If you’re stuck in an office away from natural light, go outside after lunch for a 15-minute walk and expose your body to sunlight. All of this sunlight during the day will be informing your circadian rhythm that it’s daytime.
Then later when the sun goes down, and you’re wearing your Swannies and you’ve switched off the lights in your blackened-out room...your body will know that it’s nightime and ready itself for sleep.
This will help you sleep through the night until you wake up refreshed and go outside in the sun again.
5. Exercise in the morning
Appalachian State University found that morning workouts are best if you want to get the best sleep at night.
Researchers tracked the sleep patterns of participants who worked out at three different times: 7 am, 1 pm or 7 pm. Those who exercised at 7 am slept longer and deeper than the other two groups. And they had up to 75% more 6me in the deep sleep stage at night.
If you have no choice but to exercise in the afternoon or evening, try to do it at least 4 hours before sleep.
This is because your body temperature rises with a workout and your body must be as cool as possible to sleep best.
6. Rub Magnesium Into Your Skin Before Bed
Magnesium is an anti-stress mineral, which can improve the quality of your sleep. Research estimates that 80% of the US population is magnesium deficient.
And one of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency is insomnia. Supplements are OK but may get filtered down during the digestive process. So rubbing magnesium cream on your body is best. Or use magnesium spray. Or have an Epsom Salts bath.
Magnesium can also be found in green, leafy vegetables. So eat your greens!
7. Avoid Alcohol
Yes, alcohol late in the evening can make you fall asleep faster. But, the bad news is that REM sleep is significantly disrupted by alcohol in your system.
You won’t be able to fall into deeper levels of sleep, and your brain and body won’t rejuvenate fully.
You don’t feel great after waking up from an alcohol-induced sleep, right? So take a break from the alcohol.
Or take my (James’s) 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge and watch your sleep improve dramatically.
(Just because we like to go the extra mile!)
Meditate. It helps you relax and gets you ready for sleep.
Journal. Write down three things that you’re grateful for. This helps you go to sleep with a clear conscience. A grateful mind is a happy mind.
Have An Orgasm. It releases relaxing hormones like norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin and prolactin.
Wear Nasal Strips. These open your nose making it less congested, so you breathe be9er and stay asleep.
Stay Cool. You sleep better when your body temperature is cool. Keep your room around 60-65 degrees if you can. Invest in a misting fan or place a fan in front of a block of ice on a chair.
So there you have it!
Seven ways to help you sleep better! And a few bonus tips as well. Don't forget to grab your pair of Swannies Blue-Light Blocking Glasses and save $45 today.