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3 Ways to Instantly Get a Better Night’s Sleep

 

Written by: Chris Wilson, CPT, RKC, CSN

clocks-article-sizeIf you’re not sleeping well, your life could be eating you up and spitting you out!

I say “could” because there are a few almost robot-like individuals in the world that seem to function just fine with little or no sleep.  I’m not talking to those few midnight warriors.

For you mortals, it is imperative that sleep is prioritized.  Without resting the body and the brain each day, your entire life will most likely feel upside down.

This may sound silly but some people may not understand WHY sleep is so vital to our existence.

For one, sleeping helps the body’s tissues to repair themselves and feel rejuvenated.  Since our body is moving all day long, it requires some down time for the cells to work efficiently and replenish nutrients everywhere like in the muscles, skin and bones.

Surely if you’ve been working out for a while, you have heard the saying, “The body doesn’t grow in the gym, it grows while resting.”  In order for the body to function well, it needs time to recharge and recover.

Secondly, sleep allows the body to unplug.  Our nervous system is running at full throttle all day long.  When we rest and/or sleep, the nervous system is able to reset while our body is in a peaceful state.

You know that foggy feeling you get when you’ve been awake too many hours in a row?  Once you’re system has reached its threshold, it tells you in various ways and one way is neurologically.  Your brain doesn’t seem to function very well, your memory is poor and your coordination is poor.  Your system is telling you that you need to chill out and relax.

Here’s some simple advice, go to bed and whatever you’re doing will be MUCH better the next day or hours later.

Those are just a few ways that sleep can improve our lives but in order to get a ‘restful’ night’s sleep, there are basic things we should be doing and things we should be avoiding.

#1 – Stop going to bed at different times every night, even on the weekends when possible. 

Our body loves a schedule.  Think of a band playing instruments.  When they are all playing together, in rhythm, the music is amazing.  But if those same instruments begin to play at different times with different tempos, the music no longer works. The same goes for your body.  If you go to sleep one night at 10 pm, the next at midnight, and the next at 1 am and so on, the rhythm is thrown off and things don’t work.  This rhythm is known as the circadian rhythm and all living creatures including plants have a 24-hour cycle.

Stick to a system where you’re getting to sleep within the same hour or so each night and waking up at the same time and your body will perform better and more consistently.  This helps your body’s internal clock and not only helps you fall asleep but also helps you stay asleep.

#2 – Shut down those cell phones and turn off the TV long before bedtime.

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For many of us, the cell phone and TV have become our late night buddies.  If more people could get back to some late night reading, writing or something else relaxing, our body would respond positively.

The bright lights, loud noises and excitement from the phone and television can make falling asleep very difficult since they excite and stimulate the brain.  The suggestion is to have one full hour of down time before bedtime.  So if you want to get to bed by 10:30, shut off electronic devices around 9:30.  Do something else in those moments before bedtime that help you calm down and relax and falling asleep will be easier to do.

#3 – Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow putting your spine into optimal position.

mattress-article-sizeSleeping on a super rigid mattress or something too mushy will leave you feeling like you were in a car accident.  In order to avoid feeling broken when you wake up each morning, your spine, notably your cervical spine (neck), needs to be in proper alignment while snoozing.

The wrong mattress and pillow will do a terrible job of supporting a critical area of the body, your head and neck.

Our forward head position is bad enough throughout the day since we stare at our cell phone or at the computer screen repeatedly and sit in a car or at work for hours at a time.

This forward head position or posture can determine our mood, how well we breathe, our energy level and certainly how well we sleep at night.  If our head is in a crunched or twisted position while we sleep, we could actually be stressing our system out unnecessarily.

In order to get a peaceful and restful night of sleep the head should be properly supported and aligned on a quality mattress and pillow.  This will allow the body to repair and recover undoing some of the damage from the day.

Take This Quick Self-Test To See If
You Have Forward Head Posture










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