Good quality deep sleep is essential for good health and physical fitness. This should be the number one priority yet there is a massive epidemic world wide of sleep deprivation.
Boasting about how little sleep you need is not clever. You are no different to everyone else and you will be suffering from it, whether you think you are or not. Nor is sleeping a sign of laziness.
Here are my top tips for improving sleep quality;
1. Go to bed early enough to get a minimum of 8 hours in bed.
2. Go to bed and wake up at the same time, within about 30 minutes, every day. Lie-ins will disturb your rhythms and you will struggle in the following days.
3. Stop eating and drinking around 2-3 hours before bedtime to minimise toilet trips and digestive discomfort.
4. Have a calming bedtime routine, as we do with children – warm baths, listen to quiet music, meditation, massage, listen to or read fiction etc.
5. Ensure minimum external stimulation in the bedroom. No light or noise whatsoever, including devices. Use eye masks and ear plugs if necessary.
6. Encourage deep nasal breathing by using nose strips to open the nostrils. You could also tape over the mouth. All of this, I have discovered, leads to deeper sleep. Nose breathing also stops your mouth from getting dry so you don’t need to drink and then visit the toilet again.
7. The bedroom should not be too hot. It should be well- ventilated – err on the side of coolness. Being wrapped up comfortably helps you to feel safe. Compression gear can assist with this too.
8. The last 60-90 minutes before bed and the whole of the allotted sleep period should be device and screen free as blue light will mess with your circadian rhythms.
9. Avoid all emotional drama or conversations in the evening. This includes TV soaps, news or dramas, unless entirely positive in nature (I challenge you to find one!).
10. Make sure your mattress and pillows are right for you and think about your sleeping position as your fascia will effectively be locked in this position for a third of your life. This is significant.
I hope that helps. As with all new habits, it may take a few days to establish most of this and life sometimes gets in the way.
Nevertheless, if you make sleep the number one non- negotiable part of your life that it should be, you will notice a massive knock on effect. Less desire for junk food, more energy so you want to move more, better relationships, more productivity at work etc.