Sleep is a time for uninterrupted therapy and natural regeneration. If you don’t get enough, your mental and physical activity suffers. Natural sleep cycles follow a pattern called the circadian clock, which dictates when you are awake and when you’re ready to sleep. In addition, the different phases of sleep allow you to dream, repair your body, and prepare you for the next day. Here's how to take control of your sleep schedule and get high-quality rest, every night.
Studies show exercise has positive effects on sleep. Try to work out every day, even if it's only for a few minutes. A quick, interval-based resistance band exercise can make a big difference. Sticking to a daily workout schedule can help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep. Yes, that includes helping you stay asleep all night! Following a regular exercise schedule will benefit your sleep, hands down.
No alcohol OR caffeine before bed
Caffeine is a stimulant, whether you drink it at 7am or 7pm. Drinking coffee in the afternoon will keep you awake later into the night, disrupting your normal sleep cycle and throwing off your circadian clock. Alcohol, on the other hand, may cause you to fall asleep faster, but it will reduce your quality of sleep! Alcohol lowers the amount of REM sleep cycles throughout the night, making your sleep less beneficial. It's also dehydrating, so you'll deprive your body of the hydration it needs. Avoiding both alcohol and caffeine around bedtime will improve your sleep.
relaxing pre-sleep routine
Some studies found the blue light from computer screens, TVs, and smartphones to negatively impact your ability to fall asleep. Turning off all your electronic devices at least a half hour before bedtime will quiet your mind. Instead of surfing the web, focus on something relaxing and serene. Turn off or down the lights in your room and create a relaxing environment before bed. This will help you get to sleep on time, every night.
The ideal temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, or 18.5 degrees Celsius. If you're too hot or cold at night, you'll be too uncomfortable for quality sleep. Keeping your bedroom around that temperature will help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
Breathe clean air
Keep your bedroom clean and make sure it gets enough fresh air. Putting a plant, such as a Snake Plant or Peace Lily, in your bedroom can help improve your air quality. Plants help create moisture, filter out carbon monoxide and other chemicals, and pump more oxygen into the room. Keeping a clean bedroom with clear air can benefit your health and your sleep.
Invest in the right equipment
Since you spend about a third of your life sleeping, it’s important to have a good mattress. You can even reinforce your healing through functional fabrics: Athlete Recovery Sleepwear! TB12™ developed this sleepwear with Under Armour, and it's been shown to stimulate faster recovery and promote better sleep. The inside lining reflects far infrared rays back into your skin, and the fabric's also breathable to help regulate your body's temperature. This sleepwear is an absolute must, especially if you're an athlete relying on good sleep for recovery.
Take advantage of your circadian clock by sticking to a schedule. A rhythm of waking up and going to bed at the same time every day will help your body get the most out of your sleep. Yes, that includes weekends! Choose a bedtime and wake time, ideally 8 hours apart, and commit to it. It might be hard at first, but a consistent schedule does wonders for the body and mind. You'll feel the difference!
Keep the noise down
While you’re trying to sleep, noise can be very disruptive. If you’re in a noisy area like a city, consider using a sound masking or noise-cancellation machine. White noise makers are great for this! It'll block out all the cars speeding by with a soothing, gentle sound in the background. Creating a quiet environment will improve your sleep tenfold!
Even just one of these simple tips can greatly improve your rest. Sleep is an opportunity to relax every part of your body, and it's an essential part of your regular recovery. Proper rest and recovery is part of the TB12 Method, a holistic approach to sport training and overall wellness. To learn more, download the TB12 Method mobile app and check out The TB12 Method: How To Achieve A Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance.