From a combination of bad diet, lack of exercise, staring at electronic back-lit screens for hours, we have thrown our circadian rhythm clocks completely out of whack. We are all plagued with the modern man’s disease—insomnia.
In order to sleep well, it doesn’t really take all that much effort. Make these simple tweaks to your daily routine with these 15 ways to sleep better, so you wake up refreshed and strong.
1. Limit the in-take of sugary beverages
The sugar problem. I could go on for days about how fructose corn syrups, low fat foods and soda have destroyed health. But, in regards to sleeping better, cutting out the sugar will do wonders for your sleeping.
If you consume more than 2 sodas a day, try to cut that amount in half, and stop your sugar consumption after 2pm. This will allow for your body to detox and metabolize (or store) all those simple carbohydrates. An insulin spike right before bed is counterproductive to a good night’s rest.
2. Less caffeine
Just as sugar amps up your insulin levels, caffeine can up your adrenaline. If you are a heavy coffee drinker you should also do your best to drink less each day, and attempt to not drink right before sleep.
3. Do morning cardio
How does exercising in the morning contribute to sleeping better? For starters, you need to develop a solid morning routine, which directly effects your evening rituals.
Early morning cardio gives you a reason to get out of bed, and keeps you from hitting that snooze button, which will help you to get to bed easier the next night. Aim for 30 mins, whether its a jog on the treadmill, a walk with the dog, or a Jazzercise routine.
4. Eat some fruit
A small amount of carbohydrates before bed time will help your body to produce melatonin. Reach for a handful of grapes, an orange, or any small amount of fresh fruit to help you into sleep.
5. Drink herbal tea
No Sugar. No caffeine. Yes to herbal tea!
Herbals teas are a great way to unwind and relax at the end of the day. Peppermint and chamomile are some of my favorites. If you are new to tea, just do one in a day.
6. Read more
If diet and exercise contribute to sleep, so does a quiet mind. Take that cup of herbal tea and sit down with some light reading to relax your mind.
7. Start a journal
For the supercharged and on the go person, reading at night seems impossible. Instead, I like to sit at my desk and make a list, or a short journal of all the things I accomplished that day, and then to make a small list of things I plan to do tomorrow. This allows me to worry less about remembering things, and to concentrate on unwinding.
8. Do Exercise
If cardio is a good morning routine, lifting weights in the evening is a perfect bedtime routine. Spend sometime weight training. If you don’t have a weight set, do some CrossFit style exercises or even just a few sets of sit up and push ups. Firing up your muscles burns that lingering sugar in your bloodstream, and will help you to nod off a little easier.
9. No electronics in bed, ever
Another topic I could go on about forever about is how smartphone and tablets have destroyed sleeping habits. I set my phone for “night mode”, meaning at precisely 10pm my phone goes silent until 6am. This has staved off the workaholic and insomnia more than any other tip I have tried.
10. Have more sex
The bedroom should be a sacred place—this is where you (and possibly a partner) partake in intimate activities. Orgasms are a great stress reliever and (or even something as mundane as snuggling!) release the hormone oxytocin and serotonin, both of which help you to feel relaxed and drowsy.
Take complete advantage of your partner and jump in the sack early.
11. Drink more water
Logical, right? Not so much. As my first few points said, we as people like to indulge in sugar and caffeine . If you aren’t a tea drinker, than get a tall glass of ice water, or better yet, infused water, and sip on it before you head to bed.
This will help your body to detox when you sleep, to rehydrate your system and to aid digestion.
12. Switch off your lights
Even if you turn off the TV and tablet before bed, you still need to navigate around your bedroom and home.
A great way to lessen your evening light exposure is to opt for red spectrum bulbs. These simulate (you guessed it!) an evening sunset and help to sync your internal clock for sun down.