Often times we think that we can get away with skimping on sleep, especially when we’re young, in an effort to be more productive. However, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this is actually counterproductive. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can resemble the effects of being intoxicated and results in less than optimal results that take even longer to manufacture. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that sleep is essential to our success, but how to we get the quality sleep that we need? Here are a few tips for get amazing sleep, consistently.
- Have a Bedtime Routine – Most of us have a lot of activity happening in a given day. Sometimes that activity can go all the way up until it’s time to get ready for bed. If we’re just hoping into bed without giving ourselves a chance to decompress from the day’s activities, we’re likely not going to fall right into restful state. Create a routine that gives your brain a chance to unwind and get psychologically ready for rest mode. After all, you have a routine for putting your kids to bed right? Why not create one for yourself?
- Avoid Technology Before Bed – Let’s face it. Smartphones can be a HUGE disruption to what we’re trying to focus on. They are an incredibly powerful tool for business and productivity, but since they also envelop our social lives they can be a huge hinderance. When you’re trying to focus on sleep, get away from all of the social interaction and notifications. Firstly, who can sleep with their phone pinging into the early hours of the morning? Secondly, the world never stops. If you’re not giving yourself the opportunity to have some peace and quiet before bed, you’re brain will stay tuned in and have a harder time unwinding into a restful state.
- Avoid Eating Late – One of the most powerful things about our sleep is the “fasting” state that we fall into. Our bodies do a lot of healing when we’re not having to expend energy digesting food. Eating or drinking fluids too late in the evening can hinder this process in a couple of ways: 1) Too much fluid can cause a need to get up and use the restroom in the middle of the night which pulls you away from the deep sleep you were probably getting. 2) It can cause indigestion and heart burn. The discomfort of that can make it difficult to relax and can cause stress on your esophagus. To avoid this, simply stop eating a few hours before bed. If you need a replacement for a late night snacking habit, transition to drinking a cup of herbal tea. It will relax you and curb you cravings.