Getting a good night’s sleep is just as important to good health as maintaining good nutrition and getting enough exercise. Yet most of us get less than 6 hours of sleep each night – much less the recommended 7-8 hours.
Lack of sleep is associated with inflammation causing increase of cytokine molecules that aid cell to cell communication. They trigger immune responses and stimulate the movement of cells towards sites of inflammation, infection and trauma. Long term insomnia leads to chronic inflammation. This significantly increases the risk of hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, stroke, as well as heart disease.
Even with these frightening health concerns aside, how much better do you feel after a good night’s rest?!
Here are 10 tips you can use straight away to improve your odds of getting to sleep faster and staying asleep longer from tonight!
1. Avoid Caffeine Late In The Day:
Caffeine affects your body for up to 8 hours, so swap out those late arvo coffee’s for herbal teas after lunch. Watch out for caffeinated drinks like energy drinks and soft drinks.
2. Try To Exercise Earlier:
you want to be wrapping up your training sessions at least 45 minutes to 1 hour before bedtime. Exercise is important and will help you obtain a more restful sleep, but your body needs time to wind down. This goes for other things to like driving etc try to stay up and let the body start to wind down before you lay down in bed.
3. Avoid Drinking Before Bedtime:
Give your body at least an hour to eliminate excess fluids. Otherwise you’re more likely to wake for a midnight bathroom session to empty your tank.
4. Stick To A Schedule:
Keep the same bedtime and waking routine even on the weekends for better sleep quality.
5. Avoid Taking Long Naps:
As they can throw out your sleep cycle. Power naps of 15-20 minutes are awesome!
6. Find Your Best Sleep Position:
Back sleep is generally recommended as the most stable position for the spine. Placing a pillow under your legs can reduce lower back stress as well.
If you prefer sleeping on your side, try placing a pillow between your knees for better hip support and comfort. Experiment to find what helps you get the best night’s sleep without waking up sore. Rolling a towel and sliding it in your pillow case helps to create a little ridge for you neck to curve in and rest you head in.
7. Dress Or Undress For Optimal Comfort:
Dress or un dress so that neither the heat nor the cold will keep you awake or prevent you from sleeping through the night.
8. Use The Right Size And Amount Of Pillows:
Your head and neck should maintain roughly a straight/neutral line when you sleep. Your head should not be propped up or tilted down at an angle.
9. Keep Your Room Dark:
Turn off all lights, close the curtains, even cover electronic lights if you have to. If you must use a TV or radio to fall asleep, use the sleep timer.
10. Try Supplementing with Magnesium before bed!
Differences in the concentration of potassium, magnesium, calcium and hydrogen ions between brain cells are linked to sleep and wake cycles. A magnesium supplement of 400 mg/day probably won’t change the amount of magnesium within cells. But it can help to reduce stress as measured by heart rate variability. This could help manage “restlessness, irritability, lack of concentration, sleep disorder and or depression.