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Enhanced recovery, both physically and mentally. Your mind functions better as a result. You learn more effectively. You find that your focus or concentration is increased. Your hormones are balanced which leads to other benefits like fat loss, muscle growth, and improved physical performance, including reducing the likelihood of injury. You’re also less prone to anxiety. In fact, your overall mood will improve.
“Holy crap! That sounds awesome! What gives you all of that? How much money do I have to hand over?”
Assuming you already have a place to lie down, you don’t have to pay anything financially! Lie down, close your eyes, and sleep.
Life is better when you sleep better.
Sports Psychology group Mind of the Athlete recommends 8.5 hours of sleep per night for athletes competing. Bear in mind that these athletes are engaging in strenuous activity, so you may not need as much sleep. Sometimes, real life doesn’t allow you as much time to sleep. Christopher Sommer, former US Gymnastics National Team coach, recommends a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night.
Quantity of sleep is important, but it’s only part of the equation that you have to consider in healthy sleep. The other part of the equation is quality of sleep, also referred to by some people as sleep hygiene.
Let’s start with things to avoid:
- Eating close to sleep or napping.
- Consuming lots of/any caffeine (this really depends based on the person. You may not feel wired but it still affects your sleep quality)
- Alcohol or other drugs: While alcohol might make you feel sleepy, the quality of sleep actually isn’t that great.
- High temperatures: It’s harder to fall asleep when it’s hot! Have you ever fallen asleep while sweating? How much harder is that?
- Exercising right before sleep (if you work out in the evenings, try to do it so that you have 2-3 hours of downtime before you sleep).
- Staring at light screens (especially blue light from laptops and phones). The body is supposed to react to light by staying awake. Because of this, it’s harder to sleep well while staring at light (especially the blue light from screens) due to preventing melatonin production.
Here are things you can do to ensure better sleep:
- Sleep consistently at around the same time every day. You’ll find that doing so will make you feel much better. A sports psychologist once told me, “If you have consistent sleep for 72 hours (3 days), you will feel much better.” He also proceeded to explain that the reason people feel terrible on Monday is because of inconsistent sleeping patterns over the weekend. They finally feel better around Thursday and Friday because they’ll have had 72 hours’ worth of consistent sleep at that point.
- Keeping the room you sleep in as dark as possible (in fact, consider using a sleep mask).
- Keep temperature somewhat cool. 68-72 degrees seems to be the sweet spot for some but that’s personally too cold for me since I’m used to hot, tropical weather.
- Have a pre-bedtime routine every night that helps you wind down before bed. This could include brushing your teeth, putting on comfortable clothes (or taking them off if you sleep naked), or reading yourself a fiction novel before bed (fiction is recommended as opposed to nonfiction because nonfiction tends to keep your mind stimulated to a higher extent).
Make quality and quantity of sleep a priority! If you do, you’ll find that it’ll positively affect other parts of your life.
On the other hand, if you notice the following symptoms in your life, it may be due to some sleep deprivation:
- Weight gain
- Worsened moods
- Increased anxiety or depression
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Decreased motor control
These symptoms are based on a study done on athletes.
Best of luck! You’ll find that your overall sense of well-being will improve immensely along with other positive effects!
This app takes the blue light out of your screens after the sun sets. This is what I use for my laptop.
Twilight (for android)
This is another app that takes the blue light out of your screen. It’s got more adjustments than flux which I like. With some searching, I’m sure you can find similar apps for iPhones. If not, just use f.lux.
Sleep (also an android app)
I use this to track the quality of my sleep at night! The more deep sleep you get, the better.
For more extensive information about sleep, feel free to check out Tuck Sleep Foundation: at https://www.tuck.com/sleep-meditation/
Samuel Jackson Narrates “Go to F*** to Sleep” [Note: Not suitable for work. Wear headphones]
Sorry. Couldn’t resist. This cracks me up every time. Enjoy all 5:32 of it. I even linked the HD version for better sound quality. You’re welcome.