I don’t know anyone who would not like to sleep better, more deeply, more restfully, more consistently. There’s lots of research and a ton of information and opinion available, but for now, let’s take a simple, proven approach. I’d like to share my 5 successful sleep strategies.
Sleep is actually miraculous
Sleep is a superpower that Mother Nature has given us. Sleep allows our body and our mind to rest and reset, and to heal. Interestingly, it also contributes to forming long-term memories. Sleeping well nurtures and improves our immune system, and I think we all want a robust immune system these days.
Until it isn’t
Too little quality sleep can do real damage, aside from how you feel when you get up. For most of us, under 8 hours of quality sleep can contribute to increased risk of heart disease, Alzheimers and early death.
Here are my 5 successful sleep strategies to get the most from this superpower:
1. You need vitamin D because that enables your body to produce serotonin, or happy juice, which then converts to melatonin, or sleepy juice. It’s best, and least expensive, to get your vitamin D from sunshine. Maybe get sunshine talking a walk.
2. An hour before you go to bed, turn your phone off.
3. Your environment matters. The room you sleep in should be dark and cool. It’d be better if your phone is not in your room.
4. Get yourself on a rhythm. Go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time each day. If it’s the weekend and you get crazy, don’t exceed an hour in either direction.
5. Eat between 6 and 8 pm and don’t eat a lot of crap. Specifically, avoid spicy foods, heavy meals, alcohol and caffeine. Did you know that caffeine has a half-life of 6 – 8 hours? A late afternoon pick-me-up coffee is going to have you up at night.
Making the most of your superpower, sleep
Start with these 5 suggestions and remember, nothing works all the time. These, however, work majority of the time.