Improve your sleep AND improve your life, we here it every single day it seems and honestly, we are all adults and like…yeah, we get it!
We need sleep.
But this is the real world, how do we get it in when we have the busiest life around alongside being hooked to the phone at the same time?
Just by applying some very simple lifestyle changes can make a whole world of difference in your quality of sleep
The better your sleep pattern; the better your recovery from training
Sleep is such an important factor in life that often gets neglected due to busy work and training schedules
Humans are monophasic sleepers, meaning that our days are divided into 2 distinct periods; one for sleeping and one for being awake.
By ensuring you are consistent to these changes you will have the winning formula for absolute sleep optimisation
- Make It Regular
Ensuring you go to bed at roughly the same time each evening will programme your body to sleep better. This sounds simple but it is actually science. The Circadian Rhythm is the ability to get in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. By ensuring you follow this cycle, and by going to bed at scheduled times and arising at those times, you will feel more energised than if you sleep the exact same number of hours but at different times. Consistency is the key to ensuring this rhythm is successful
TIP: To find your optimal sleep schedule find a period of time when you are free to experiment. You will need roughly 1-2 weeks. Go to sleep at the same time each night and allow your body to sleep until you wake up naturally. It may take a little time to encourage a regular wake up time, with no alarms, especially if you are sleep deprived. But it will happen. Then you will discover the natural sleep schedule that works best for you
- Be Wise About Napping
While some people can opt for a day time nap to make up any sleeping debt you have allowed, care needs to be applied to those who suffer from insomnia. If insomnia is an issue, eliminate napping permanently. If you really MUST nap, ensure it is early afternoon and limited to just 30 minutes. Naps can restore alertness and enhance performances. They can also reduce mistakes and accidents. We are often see signs that state to not drive when tired. If you have had a bad night’s sleep then it would be optimal to encourage a brief nap prior to a drive, rather than press on when still drowsy and place yourself and others at risk. Be aware that the best way to stay alert during a day is to get enough sleep during the night.
- Naturally Regulate Your Circadian Rhythm
We have a hormone in our brain that gets secreted to help regulate sleep-wake cycles. This hormone is called melatonin. Melatonin is controlled by light exposure. The brain will secrete more in the evening, when it is dark, to make you sleepy and less in the day when you need to stay alert and awake. The way our modern life currently operates however, can disrupt the secretion and confuse your sleep-wake pattern. Spending hours in the day, working from offices, can result in you being away from natural light, making our brain sleepy. Then, in turn, melatonin production is suppressed in the evening by spending hours in front of TV and computer screens making it harder to go to sleep. You can naturally regulate your melatonin levels to keep your brain on a healthy sleep-wake schedule:
During the day –
- Spend more time outside in natural light; work breaks outside, dog walks, exercise
- Let as much natural light into your workplace or home as possible; open blinds, move desk closer to window
- Remove your sunglasses in the morning and let the sunlight onto your face
During the night –
- Turn off your TV and computer. Many think that they can fall asleep in front of the TV, but this is actually a big mistake. Melatonin production will suppress and the brain could even be stimulated by the TV. If your favourite programme is on late, try recording it and watching it earlier in the day. If you need to opt for some form of activity before sleep, opt for listening to music or an audio book.
- Don’t read from a device with a backlight; use an eReader that is not backlit, use a bedside lamp instead
- Make sure your room is dark; the darker your room is, the better you will sleep. Use blinds, curtains, cover displays and even opt for a sleep mask
Reading this article would suggest that you already exercise. You obviously have an interest in nutrition and training or you wouldn’t be on this site. But it is just as important to ensure you create a relaxing bed time routine to ensure you have a more restful night.
Do you struggle to sleep at night?
What do you do to improve your sleeping patterns?
If you want to talk more about how to optimize your sleep pattern in the busy world we live in today then let’s talk now