What is enough sleep anyway? 8 hours? 6 hours? Some people say they need 10 hours of sleep at night to function at the top of their game and others say they need only 4 hours. Whatever your “enough” number is, how you sleep (quality) is predicated on the other habits your day consists of! If you’re dragging during prime prospecting time or find yourself burnt out by days end, here are some tips to help you be best friends (instead of Frenemies) with bedtime:
- First and foremost, do not press that snooze alarm. Your body needs to get up at the same time every day so don’t confuse it by going back to sleep even for 15 minutes with the aid of the snooze alarm.
- Try to hold off drinking your first cup of coffee or tea until around 10 AM. That’s about the time your cortisol and energy levels begin to dip and that’s when your body really needs the caffeine.
- You’ve heard this one before but trust me, this is important. Eat a good breakfast, one filled with proteins and carbohydrates to help regulate your circadian rhythm, your sleep cycle. For the 10% of us who are vegans, there are many options out there for you to fill up on your protein needs at breakfast time.
- At lunchtime, choose what you eat carefully. Avoid too many carbs as they will make you sleepy and disrupt your sleep cycle.
- If you feel the need to nap in the mid afternoon, make it a short one, say 15-20 minutes tops. More nap time than this will, again, disrupt your sleep cycle.
- Your body begins to prepare itself for sleep between 6-8 PM. Monitor your intake of proteins, spicy foods and carbs at dinner as they set up your body for action, not rest. Absolutely, do not indulge in proteins and carbs after 8 PM as, again, they will definitely disturb your circadian rhythm. Also, no saturated fats after 8 PM.
- This tip goes with tip #1 up top…try to go to bed at the same time every night in order to preserve your circadian rhythm.
- Meditating just before going to sleep helps you relax and helps prepare the body for sleep.
- Try taking a hot shower before bedtime. The cool down experienced after a hot shower helps set up your body to sleep.
- Sleeping in a cool room helps to ensure sound, uninterrupted sleeping.
- If you suffer from insomnia and/or anxiety, try sleeping with a weighted blanket…research shows that it helps.
- If you can control your sleeping position, try sleeping on your left side as this position seems to help the heart, back and digestion.
- Go to bed with little or no clothes. Naked sleeping has proven to lower the risk of disease overall and to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
- Splurge for the best bed sheets you can afford. Shoot for a thread count of 400 and above for the softest, most durable sheets.
- Remove gadgets and devices from your bedroom. Just knowing that they’re there will distract and/or interrupt you from sleeping.
- On the back end of caffeine, know that coffee/tea/chocolate/soft drinks remain in your nervous system for a good five hours after consumption. Cut out all caffeine after 4 PM.
- Last but not least, regular exercising, even moderately done, four times a week will induce the hormonal processes within your body to help make you drowsy at night and help you get to sleep faster and longer.
Sleep well and remember that your ability to be of service only happens when you show up in ‘full force’ — and getting great sleep is part of that!