You and I know that a good night of sleep is at least 7 hours per night and that is a necessity. Sleep improves muscle-growth, speeds up fat loss, and carries a ton of health benefits that will help you look and feel better inside out.
A good night’s sleep:
Is crucial for adequate production of GH and testosterone hormones that give both men and women more strength, vitality, and muscle.
Helps us stay lean due to maintaining good insulin sensitivity.
Cuts risks of common colds and increases resilience to stress.
Improves memory, focus, and performance.
Here are the 10 steps to improved sleep.
- Make the room cold.
For most people, the ideal temperature for sleep is somewhere between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. You will have to experiment to find what feels best for your own-self, but the first sign of good sleep is a chilly bed. If you shiver when you get underneath the sheets, you’re just good to go.
If you can’t control the temperature of your room, aim a portable fan directly at your bed and avoid sleeping with a heavy comforter.
- Make your room as quiet as possible.
White noise like a fan can help with sleep, but exposure to things like traffic noise has been shown to decrease overall sleep quality. It’s difficult to drift off to sleep when people are loud and blaring their horns outside your place.
Drown out unwanted noises as best as you can. Use a fan for white noise or grab some earplugs if it is really noisy.
- Make your room dark. Extremely dark.
Even a tiny amount of light can interfere with melatonin production and impair your sleep.
Turn off all devices and seal all light out of your room. Turn off any electronic devices with LED’s or cover the lights with a small piece of electrical tape. Hang a blanket or towel over your bedroom window if light creeps in.
- Ditch the cell phone.
Radiation emitted from cell phones can increase the amount of time required to reach deep sleep cycles and decrease the amount of time spent in those cycles. Keep your phone on silent mode and away from your bed.
- Control red and blue light.
Quick science lesson: Light waves exist along a spectrum of color. Wakefulness is triggered primarily by blue light, like midday sunshine or what’s emanating from your computer screen or phone right now. A warm red glow, say, from a fireplace, does almost nothing to impair sleep. So, that’s a good thing.
You can download F.lux F.lix is a free program that alters the color spectrum of your computer to mimic the patterns of sunlight in your region, allowing for healthier sleep rhythms. It makes your computer and tablet screens softer and less bright than usual.
- Improve the Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR).
A good way to improve your sleep quality is to strengthen the initial spike in wakefulness that occurs in the morning. In other words, the more awake you feel in the morning, the more tired you’ll feel in the evening.
The best way to do this is to expose your body to natural sunlight shortly after waking for as little as ten minutes. Sunlight brings the bonus of increased vitamin D production, which is important for overall health.
Remember that vitamin D is what your body normally produces in response to sunlight and it’s tied into your wakefulness patterns. So if you’re supplementing vitamin D, try taking it in the morning folks. Get some sunlight or something resembling sunlight first thing when you wake up.
- Set a sleep schedule and stick to it.
This one requires some discipline, but it’s worth practicing it. Wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Your body can’t establish an effective rhythm if you don’t allow it to normalize to a pattern.
If you stay up late, don’t sleep in. Instead, plan on going to bed a little earlier the next night. The sleep you get before midnight will be more valuable than the sleep you get after midnight, so always think in terms of making up for lost sleep by going to bed early the next night rather than sleeping in. Select a time to go to bed and a time to wake up. Stick to this schedule for at least 2 weeks before altering.
- Establish a sleep ritual.
Once you find out what helps you sleep the most consistently, make it a consistent ritual so that as soon as you’re an hour away from bedtime you’re already on a reliable path to good sleep.
- Read for 15 minutes before bed.
Avoid intellectually stimulating fare and use this time for candy reading. It will reduce mental chatter and allow you to relax and let go of the day’s preoccupations from the entire day. Try “Candy” reading. Candy reading, by the way, is whatever you normally wouldn’t read. So if you normally read non-fiction, try reading fiction. If you prefer to read fiction, try reading some history. Pick up a book you wouldn’t normally read and read for 15 minutes before bed.
- Sleep on a good mattress.
A quality bed is one of the best investments you’ll ever make and it doesn’t have to be exorbitantly expensive to work. Whatever you do, don’t put up with a lumpy mattress or uncomfortable flimsy bed springs.
A good mattress is money well-spent. If you’re sleeping on something that’s thin, lumpy, or too small, take a look at your finances and see if you can set aside some money each month to purchase a new mattress. It’s worth it.
Otherwise, just use the gymnastics mat, guys! Peace out.