What we’re getting into now is ‘Sleep Hygiene.’ Spelled out simply, ‘Sleep Hygiene’ consists of habits and practices that are conducive to sleeping well on a regular basis.
The best times to sleep
10pm-5am are the prime hours we’re geared to have our head on the pillow. Why is that? Evolution my friend. There are very few places on the planet where it isn’t very dark from 10pm-3am, and that’s when the bulk of our real recovery happens.
But you said 10pm-5am! Correct, this is because your body begins to ramp up its production of cortisol roughly about two hours before your usual wake time.
Now we’ve gone to the trouble dodging the sun now it’s time to put down that phone. Yeah, the light from devices like your phone, TV and computer interrupt your bodies ability to produce melatonin which in turn reduces the quality of your rest.
So, an hour or so before it’s time to go to bed, put down the lighted devices and pick up a book. Feel free to dim the lights a touch while you’re at it.
Sleep in a cave
You should set your bedroom up as if it were a cave of sorts. No electronics, no light. Blackout shades and curtains are an excellent way to help eliminate light. Also, it should also be cool. Not freezing, but cool enough to let your body relax and sleep.
Tips and Tricks to improve the quality of sleep.
Epsom salt baths – a 20-minute bath in warm water infused with Epsom salt will relax tight muscles and add magnesium a natural calming mineral to your body
Carbs at night. Shifting your carbohydrate intake from being spread throughout the day to mainly in the PM will help damp your PM cortisol production allowing you to wind down and maintain a deeper lasting sleep.
Sleep mask & Earplugs – Mack’s makes a couple of great products. You might feel a little silly at first, but you’ll be amazed at how much these inexpensive items can help you get a more restful slumber. Give these a try if you’re ever on the road!
Static stretching – a little bit of this before bed can go a long way. Take ten minutes and work on one or two of your tightest muscle groups. Personally, I find hamstrings give me the best results. Be sure to take some long deep breaths while you’re at it.
Still having troubles?
When you wake up is critical to determining why you’re waking up and how to resolve it. A quick one on one session with a coach can help you pinpoint what’s going on.