25 Tips to Help You Get a Better Night's Sleep
The rest and recovery process of lifting weights is something that most of us take for granted.
Sure, we can trudge through our days and make five hours of sleep work, but is that what is best for us?
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Maybe you really do try to get more sleep but you just can't fall into the deep slumber that your body needs. Below are some of the best sleep tips that are backed by science. So take note, and let's begin.
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Science-Backed Tips for Better Sleep
#1 - Exercise RegularlyHave you ever wondered why you slept so good that night after you've exerted more energy than usual? That can happen every night if you exercise regularly.
A survey taken by the National Sleep Foundation in 2013 revealed that regular and vigorous exercisers reported getting the best sleep.
What's nice is you only need 10 minutes per day of extra physical activity to improve your night's sleep.
#2 - Don't Exercise Too Close to BedWhether you pound the pre-workout or not, training right before bed has its drawbacks.
We can get so amped up and override any sleep-promoting benefits from exercising. If you train at night, try to finish at least two to three hours before you are due to hit the pillow.
#3 - Watch Alcohol Consumption Before BedPoppin' bottles is all fine and dandy until your buzz wears off.
If you manage to fall asleep shortly after a bender when the buzz starts to wear off, you are more likely to wake up more frequently.
#4 - Watch Caffeine Consumption Before BedIf you like to have an energy drink, soda, or anything with caffeine in it, try to cut the caffeine out by early afternoon.
You may say caffeine doesn't affect you, but that could be the very reason you have troubles sawing logs at night.
#5 - Set an Alarm to Remind Yourself to Go to Bed[caption id="attachment_55411" align="alignright" width="280"] Click here to order Machine Sleep Aid now.[/caption]
Just as you have an alarm to wake you up in the morning, setting an alarm for you to start winding down is just as helpful.
If you ever wonder why you didn't just go to bed when you have the chance, now you can.
#6 - Maintain a Constant Sleep ScheduleWe all love staying up on Friday and Saturday night, forfeiting most of our weekend to sleep off those benders.
The switch up from your normal schedule causes the same interruption to our circadian rhythm as flying across the country. It's called social jet lag and it makes it very hard to fall asleep Sunday night for work.
Try to maintain the same sleep schedule every day to get the most restful sleep.
#7 - Avoid Too Many Liquids at NightFinding yourself waking up throughout the night to water the lawn?
Try cutting down on the amount of liquid you drink before work so that you do not have any more middle of the night trips.
#8 - Get Checked for Sleep ApneaSnoring too much? It may be a sign of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is where an individual stops breathing for periods of time during their sleep. Losing weight and making better dietary choices can improve this drastically.
Get it checked out by your doctor if you think you may have sleep apnea.
#9 - Try a Different PillowYour bed and pillows are not a game. You should seek to buy better quality materials for such an important part of our lives.
Dust mites over time can cause allergic reactions and other sinus issues if you have your pillow for a long time.
Generally, pillows should be replaced every 12 to 18 months. Make sure you have the right pillow for the way you sleep.
#10 - Try a Different BedTossing and turning all night? It could be your mattress giving you issues.
Spend the time and money finding the best sleep setup for you, and expect to have to buy a new one every five to ten years.
#11 - Get Up if You Can't SleepLaying there stressing about not being able to sleep doesn't accomplish anything. Get out of bed and do something else that will help you relax and unwind.
#12 - Quit Stressing About SleepAgain, the more you stress about something, the more of an issue it becomes.
Take time to unwind and unplug before you try to go to bed.
#13 - Soak In a Hot BathIf you're like me, sitting in a hot tub or a hot bath feels great after a long day of lifting heavy weights.
The natural drop in body temperature once you get out of the tub mimics the natural drop in body temperature your body naturally does before bed.
According to a 1985 study, a warm bath before bed improves the quality of sleep and sleeps up the process of falling asleep.
#14 - Take Smart NapsTaking a midday nap is alright. Taking a midday "sleep until dinner time" nap isn't.
Limit yourself to a 30-minute maximum nap during the day if you need it. You can boost your alertness, memory, and improve performance without ruining your sleep at night.
#15 - Don't Hit the Snooze ButtonSomething I am personally bad for, hitting the snooze button drags out your sleep, makes you groggy, and always makes you late for things.
When we hit snooze, it's disrupting our REM sleep, which is why we are groggy when we wake up.
You better get up, get out, and get something when that alarm goes off.
#16 - Try SocksAre your feet always too cold? Try getting a pair of warm socks to wear to bed.
According to a 1999 study, putting on a pair of clean socks before climbing into bed can determine how quickly you fall asleep.
#17 - Keep Your Bedroom DarkBetween our phone chargers, broken blinds we never fix, and any other light beaming from our electronics in the room, keeping a dark room is hard to do.
Light from our digital alarm clocks can disrupt how we sleep. If you can't get rid of all of the light in your room, try finding a sleep mask that you like.
#18 - Keep Your Room CoolA room that's too hot or too cold can disrupt our sleep.
Dr. Christopher Winder has been quoted saying that a temperature of 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal.
So invite those penguins in and get your chill on.
#19 - Unplug Before BedAn issue 90% of my friends have, turning off phones, TVs, and laptops before bed is imperative if you want quality sleep.
Bright light triggers our brains into decreasing the natural amount of melatonin produced, which will make us awake and alert.
Stop sending your body the wrong signals and turn your electronics off at least an hour before bed.
#20 - Avoid Heavy Meals Before BedAllow your body to recover and refuel your nervous system, not digest that taco bell you regretfully ate.
#21 - Keep Your Room QuietAlong with keeping your room dark, lowering the ambient sound levels in your room can help as well.
Ticking clocks and electronics that constantly make noise can be annoying.
A room that is too quiet will allow you to hear every little pin drop and animal rustling outside; this can cause you to not get any sleep.
#22 - Try Writing Things DownSpending time to write your thoughts out on paper is therapeutic and can help you get the stress out of your head.
Write down what's bothering you, your goals for the next day, or anything that comes to mind.
It is relaxing, and you will be able to drift off more smoothly.
#23 - Grab Sunlight in the MorningGetting up and having the sun shining on you is one easy and natural way to become wide awake.
Try getting 15 minutes of natural light into your morning routine to help reset our circadian rhythm.
#24 - Quit SmokingIf you smoke, you are statistically four times more likely to wake up feeling tired than someone who doesn't smoke.
Just like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant and really puts our nervous system through the ringer.
If you've been looking for a good reason to kick the habit, here it is.
#25 - Consider Sleep TherapyMaybe you've tried some of these tips and they just don't help.
Have a cognitive behavioral therapist check you out so they can get some sleep assessments. They will help you adjust your bedtime habits and allow you to finally get the restful sleep you've needed.