Sleeping to Success

yawn

We only have 24 hours in a day. And of those 24 hours in a day we spend on average 8 hours sleeping. So that means that we spend 1/3 of our entire life sleeping. Or do we? Sure we all intend to sleep 8 hours straight but I’m pretty sure we don’t get 8 hours of quality sleep. Common reasons that we have a hard time sleeping range from suffering from a sleeping disorder to simply not finding a comfortable sleeping position throughout the night. I am by no means a sleep expert but like most out there I enjoy a great nights sleep. Here are 10 suggestions that you should strive to improve so you have success sleeping every night.

1.) Don’t drink caffeine so late. Notice I didn’t say don’t drink caffeine at all. Lets face it caffeine is around us within our favorite drinks but we shouldn’t indulge in this later than 5 pm at the latest. The reason is because caffeine stays in your body for 4-6 hours depending on how fast your body digests it. So think twice before you gulp on that extra sugary drink late in day.

2.) Drink a glass of water before you go to sleep. This glass of water will do several things. First, it will prevent you from drinking anything other than water. Secondly it helps you relax and helps your body repair and feel rejuvenated for the next day. Even if you’re not a habitual water drinker throughout the day this shouldn’t stop you from drinking a glass before you go to sleep. What’s the worse that could happen?

3.) Another sleeping tip is to not eat so late. From time to time, dinner might get pushed back a couple of hours due to your schedule but don’t accept this as a permanent change. Besides it preventing you from suffering from lack of sleep it can cause further health problems like getting heartburn or suffering from indigestion. Research shows to go to sleep no earlier than 3 hours after eating.

4.) Don’t go to sleep on an empty stomach. This might be worse than eating on a full stomach because you will get hungry at some point throughout the night. Then when you should be sleeping you end up devouring anything in your path to stop the hunger. Then you throw away your chance for restful sleep.

5.) Commit to some form of daily exercise. Not everyone is meant to be a weightlifter or the next marathon runner but even walking daily will cause you to be tired and have more peaceful sleep. Ever wonder why kids have an easy time falling asleep after a full day of running around? I’m not trying to inspire anyone to bring out their inner child out but I am encouraging you to find some activity that leaves you physically tired at the end of the day. Trust me you will thank me afterwards.

6.) Say no to TV at the end of the night. Some might argue and say how is this preventing me from sleeping? I would look at it in a different way and say how is it helping you fall asleep. Lets face it, when you are watching your favorite show on TV you are more likely to rationalize another episode and before you know it you have binge watched yourself to another late night. This could have been avoided if you set yourself a timer or a self imposed curfew. It sounds childish but who is in control? You or your TV?

7.) Stay off your phone! This is tough for many myself included. But what I found helpful is please-do-not-disturbusing the do not disturb features or silent mode for my phone late at night. I normally put it on from 10 pm-6 am  This will prevent me from checking emails late at night, prevent me from checking any of my social media apps, or prevent me from reading latest news. Again who is in control? You or your phone?

8.) Dim your lights! This is a great way to get in the zone and ready for bed. It helps you unwind, gets your mind off of things, and it relaxes you all in one. Trust me, even if you’re not tired a dim lit room will put you in a sleepy mode. Don’t believe me, try it out for yourself.

9.) Wear your favorite set of sleeping gear. For most it might consist of your favorite set of pajamas for others it might be your sleeping in your underwear. Whatever you choose to wear it should be comfortable and relaxing and not restricting and a reason for keeping you up at night.

10.) Take the time to find and buy a set of pillows, blankets, and most importantly a bed that you will enjoy sleeping in. This was crucial for me because I have different kinds of pillows and not all of them do the job right. You wouldn’t think pillows make a huge impact on your sleep until you wake up with a stiff neck the next morning. In regards to purchasing a bed, this might be more difficult but knowing the types of firmness you seek in a bed will help you. Trust me when I say there is different kind of sleep when you go from a twin bed, to a queen bed, to a king sized bed.  Size does matter when it comes to your bed size and you shouldn’t be stuck at square one if you have the choice and chance to upgrade.

These might have sounded like no brainer tips but lets face it you are are probably guilty of at least one of those “don’t’s” that I mentioned. I’m not saying to adopt all of these suggestions at once but I am saying that you should really take the time to improve your sleep otherwise you are losing the sleep battle before the war begins each day. Feel free to leave your comments below or follow me on twitter. 

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