We all want to perform at our best and sleep is crucial for that to happen.
Sleep is pretty awesome. You put in a hard day of work and you get to just lay there and recuperate. You come out of the land of the Mr. Sandman and pixies, refreshed, and ready to take on another day with life and vigor. But, sometimes we wake up and it’s a living nightmare. We are exhausted, disoriented, and sometimes downright unable to function. Here’s 5 Tips to make sure you’re walking on sunshine every morning.
1) AVOID ANYTHING THAT IS VERY MENTALLY STIMULATING
Stay away from those action or horror movies near bedtime. You don’t want to be fighting the predator in your sleep. You also don’t want to feel like you are in an action movie before sleep. Unless you are exhausted and sleep better after exercise, save it for the early hours. This will help keep your circadian rhythm in the correct pace. Poor sleep can have a compounding effect if not addressed. In the same vein, avoid the news or anything that may lead to anxiety or a racing mind. We are often tired, but we can keep ourselves awake by these thoughts that release a small and steady amount of the hormone cortisol. This hormone is what wakes us up in the morning. Its the last thing we want before bed.
2) HAVE A GLASS OF MILK
Numerous Studies and Accounts point to low levels of calcium in the blood to poor sleep. Add in magnesium as well as this will also aid with sleep. I personally have a 600mg calcium tablet with vitamin D, 400-800mg of Magnesium, and sometimes 2-5mg of Melatonin. I will also have Fish oil, Boron, and of course my daily multivitamin.
3) AVOID BLUE LIGHT
Blue light is great! You will find it in abundance from sunlight. It is great for waking us up and giving us a zest to life! Overzealous? Just take a look at people who suffer from Seasonal Awareness Disorder. The sun is great for not only superman, but you as well. Try and get sunlight as soon as you rise.
When we go to bed we want to watch out for this ray of alertness. Things that are notorious for blue light are: phones, TV’s, and even regular light bulbs. Dim lights if you can 1-2 hours before bed, getting darker and darker. You can also get some snazzy Blue Blocker Glasses. I pop these bad boys on 2 hours before bed and keep them on until I hit the lights off for bed.
Some other handy gadgets are:
Earplugs – if you have noisy neighbors, live near a busy street, have construction nearby, or like me all 3, these are for you!
Eye mask – Yes, I broke down and got these too and they have helped! I have street lights literally outside my window… and in the rare cases I sleep in on the weekends or need a quick siesta, I pop these on to block out the light.
4) EXERCISE INTENSELY
Exercise has numerous benefits. One of those is helping you sleep. When you exercise intensely, you release endorphins. This is what runners often call the runner’s high. This is one of the many ways exercise helps to reduce anxiety and stress. The other component that exercise brings to the table for sleep is building up adensoine. This build up leads to us becoming sleepy. One of the best ways to build this up is h.i.i.t.; an intense form of exercise that is short and sweet. Some ways to really amp up your exercise intensity is pre-workout.
Here is my currently recommended brand.
5) HAVE SOME TEA!
Decaffeinated Green Tea and/or Chamomile Tea is also great for helping to relax you before bed. Have this, mixed with 1 tablespoon of raw honey, and a half tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and you’ll be out in no time at all. These teas contain gaba, which is a neurotransmitter, and can help you relax and fall asleep. Another honorable mentions is L-Theanine.