Episode 13 – How to Improve Your Sleep

 

How bad is it when you’re so tired and want to sleep, but as soon as you get into bed, you can’t sleep! Why is that? Is it circulating thoughts? Is it restlessness? Hmmm..

It’s common to have trouble sleeping these days. But at the same time, this is also quite simple to fix. In this article let’s discuss four top tips to improve your sleep so that you can have a better and more energetic tomorrow! Even without coffee (yes sir!).

Sounds good yeah?!

 

1. Exercise to sleep better

Life is about “relative” balance. One of the great Taoist symbols – the Yin-Yang symbolizes this quite well. This is also particularly important when it comes to being active and rest.

If you’re only a little bit active, you only need a small amount of rest (in other words, light sleep). However, if you are quite active, you will need more rest (which usually translates to a deeper, more restful sleep). Sounds straightforward right! The rest is relative to the work!

To extend on this, you only get what you put in. If you want a lot of energy you need to expend a lot of energy through exercise first. The more intense your workout, the more you adapt to the imposed demands and the fitter and more energetic you will be the next day.  So exercise to sleep better.

 

Try out these exercise options:

  • Resistance training
  • Cardio training
  • Physical Play
  • Hobbies
  • Team sports

 

2. Sleep hygiene

It’s time to clean up your sleep. And the best way to do this is with sleep hygiene. The number one way to clean up your sleep is to train (or anchor) your body to wind down and wake up at the same time. This will also create a routine for your body hormones to start and end its recovery and awake processes at the same time.

 

To train your body for sleep:

  • Have a wind down routine
  • Block and turn off all lights
  • Prepare your bedroom space so it’s appealing to sleep in
  • Cool your room temperature down.

 

Want to know the other 2 ways to improve your sleep? Read on.

 

 

3. Avoid Electronics at Night

Light in your home and emanating from your electronic gadgets deter your body from adequate rest.

Basically, the artificial lights from these sources are interpreted by your brain as “daylight”, inducing the continued production of “daylight” hormones and thus, will keep you awake for longer. The other thing is your “daylight” hormones don’t just switch off. It takes a couple of hours to wind down for your body to start producing the “nighttime” hormones that repair and recover. So start early!

 

What to do:

Limit your exposure to light and electronics for at least 1-2 hours before you go to bed. Instead start to chat to people in real life or even read books.

 

4. Follow some thought management hacks

Thoughts are things. I know you’ve experienced lying in bed with thoughts going around and around — bills, relationships, work, kids, school. It’s time to get them out of your head. Externalizing thoughts on paper will help you organize your thoughts and allow you to relax because you found another way to “remember them.” You see, the brain only circulates thoughts to help you to remember. Once you write them down, they will go – just don’t lose the piece of paper!

 

Try this out:

Get a piece of paper and pen and write down all your thoughts before going to bed such as,

  • What are you going to do tomorrow?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What didn’t you like today (or stressors)?
  • What did you learn today?

 

Rest up!

You deserve the best sleep possible. By internalizing these tips and developing better habits in and around sleep, you’ll be assured of an energised, refreshed, and ready-for-anything body to enjoy your life! Exercise more to rest more, clean up your sleep, avoid electronics and follow some thought management hacks. Rest well.

 

Improve your sleep

Thanks for reading how to improve you sleep to get a better night’s rest. These tips will help to address the symptoms straight away. If you’re having anymore problems, have a chat to your doctor or a sleep specialist to make sure this information is personalised to you. Take one tip now and start installing it into your life, then add in the rest over time. Goodluck!

To summarize the tips again, here are the top four (4) tips to keep in mind:

Tip #1 – Exercise to sleep better

Tip #2 – Sleep Hygiene

Tip #3 – Avoid electronics at night

Tip #4 – Follow some thoughts management hacks

 

Feel free to watch the video.

Bibliography

  • McKeown, G. (2014) Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less. Crown Business.
  • Levitin, D. (2014) The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload. Plume Printing
  • Duhigg, C. (2012) The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business. Random House
  • Chek, P. (2009) How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!
  • Chopra, D. (1995) Boundless Energy: The complete Mind/Body Program for Overcoming Chronic Fatigue. Three Rivers Press

 

Videos

  • Russell Foster: Why do we sleep?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWULB9Aoopc&index=15&list=WL
  • Improve Your Sleep With These 7 Easy Tips – Dr. Oz at 92nd Street Y
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHEAoWRY_rQ&index=12&list=WL
  • Jessa Gamble: Our natural sleep cycle
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z-vyLHi2us&index=18&list=WL
  • Jeff Iliff: One more reason to get a good night’s sleep
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJK-dMlATmM&index=16&list=WL
  • What would happen if you didn’t sleep? – Claudia Aguirre
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqONk48l5vY&index=17&list=WL

Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness.

Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness. International Athlete, Elite Performance Manager for the Philippine Volcanoes rugby teams, qualified Dietitian / Nutritionist and qualified educator. Chris Everingham combines more than 10 years of experience and education together to deliver the best strategies to grow your mindset, rewire your habits and transform your life.

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