I desperate need of a good night sleep?

Sleep has an image problem, we often stigmatise getting sufficient sleep with this label of laziness. People are almost proud of how little sleep they get ‘I can survive on 5 hours a night’ great that you can survive, but what about being optimal and excelling in all aspects of your life.

To optimise sleep, you need to consider environment, tools and tracking

We are living in an environment that depends more and more on caffeine, exposed to more artificial lights which are both setting you up for a poor sleep.

Light and temperature play a significant role in sleep. They are the body’s external cues to go to bed

✅Reduce exposure to artificial light by wearing blue light blockers. We are a dark deprived society due to increased use of artificial light. We need darkness to release the hormone melatonin to help time our sleep.

✅Hot showers before bed to lower body’s core temperature. Your body needs to drop it’s core temperature by 1-2 degrees Celsius to initiate sleep, that’s why You will always find it easier to fall asleep in a room that’s too cold vs too hot
✅Melatonin- to help you get to sleep
✅Nasel strips- promotes nasal breathing, preventing mouth breathing which can result in snoring
✅Lavender sprays to help relax you before bed
✅Limit caffeine intake to early on in the day. Caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic, so not only can it keep you awake, but also encourage regular trips to the toilet.
✅Establish a bed routine to help you unwind and prepare yourself for a good night sleep.
✅Give yourself an 8 hour sleep opportunity. That doesn’t include getting ready for bed, reading a book etc.

Tracking

What gets measured gets managed. Do you know how much you are really sleeping? You maybe surprised at the quantity and quality of sleep, and maybe the reason for your bad workout, bad day at work, accidents etc. I recommend using apps like sleep cycle, sleep rate and Fitbit. Keeping yourself accountable will make you more aware and will encourage you take positive action to improve your sleep hygiene.

Bonus Tip

If you are regularly urinating throughout the night (nocturia), often electrolyte imbalance is the cause. Foods are often high in sodium, with potassium being neglected causing an electrolyte imbalance. A quick fix for this to consume a lot more ‘lo salt’ which is a 50/50 split with potassium and sodium.

It’s time to take sleep seriously, prioritise it and not see it as an inconvenience. Even Shakespeare knew the importance of sleep, with the following quote from Macbeth (act 2, scene 2)

“sleep is the chief nourisher of life’s great feast”

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