I love sleep. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d ideally sleep 9 hours every night. It’s not like I’m growing or anything, but I’m so active and constantly on the go, my body and mind need genuine recovery time. I know people like to brag about how they barely sleep, but why? It improves your mood, organs, skin, and productivity. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, gets eight hours of sleep every night. It’s good for you!! Here are five things you can do to ensure you are getting quality sleep.
1. Grab the Sleep Cycle app. You don’t have to pay for the subscription to learn about your sleep – although it is fascinating. I used this when I decided I wanted to know how well I sleep, but I no longer use it because I now have that data and I sleep with my wifi off. The app gives you a percentage score based on how well you slept. I have a client who is consistently in the 90% range. I was shocked to discover I was most often in the 60% range. About the same as Iran. Yikes.
2. No technology. This one should be obvious by now, but so many of you still fall asleep with your TV on. The optimal sleep atmosphere is dark, cold and quiet. I take it a step further by shutting of my wifi every night and sleeping with my cell phone very far away from me, on silent, face down. I try to stay away from my cell phone and laptop 30 minutes before I go to bed. Read a book. A paper book. Even if it’s a page or just a few sentences, books help to take our mind off the daily stresses of life.
3. No alcohol or caffeine. Both are stimulants that greatly affect your sleep. I know a lot of people would argue they sleep better with a drink or two, but it’s scientifically not true. I bought a BCAA powder and missed the part where caffeine is included in the ingredients. I go to the gym at 4:30 in the afternoon and I drink the BCAA’s during my 90m minute workouts. I know I’m sensitive to it, so I thought I could take half of the dose (about a cup of coffee) instead of the full dose and I’d still be ok. Cut to me wide awake at 2 a.m., chugging melatonin.
4. Exercise. According to the Sleep Foundation, exercise triggers an increase in body temperature, and the post-exercise drop in temperature may promote falling asleep. Exercise may also reduce insomnia by decreasing arousal, anxiety and depressive symptoms. Finally, exercise may reduce insomnia by its effect on circadian rhythms (body clock).
5. Drink apple cider vinegar. Mix one tablespoon of ACV with half a teaspoon of honey and 10 ounces of hot water. These ingredients together do a slew of positive things for our bodies, but to keep it simple, our bodies convert the serotonin and tryptophan released by these ingredients, into melatonin – that’s the stuff that gives us a deep restful sleep.