Sleeping, or counting sheep? 9 Tips for better sleep!

Amanda Barbian

April 8, 2017

Getting a good nights rest is usually the last priority for my clients as they have to check all the items off of today’s to-do list. In fact 40% of Americans are not getting enough sleep according to the 2013 Gallup study. And, if you think you can sleep less than 7 hours a night, you are in the elite 3%. 

Why is it so important to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night? Sleep impacts everything you do while you are awake! Here is what your body is doing while you sleep:

1. Growth Hormone (HGH) is secreted during sleep, which is what helps regulate body composition, fluids, muscle and bone growth, sugar and fat metabolism and possibly heart function.

2. Adenosine build up gets discharged from the brain helping to restore and maintain mental alertness.

3. Toxins are cleared away getting rid of things like plaque that can cause disease like Alzheimers when built up.

4. Memories are consolidated and stored helping with motor tasks, learning, and memory retention.

So what does that all mean to you in your everyday life? 

1. You’ll perform better in the gym because the patterns and technique you are learning become easier over time as the new movement get stored to become automatic. 

2. Your body will recover faster from your workouts and muscles will develop quicker. 

3. You’ll progress faster physically because your hormones and metabolism will be working at optimal levels allowing for fat lose or change body composition.

4. Mentally you will be sharp and alert with good memory recall and increased creativity to solve problems or come up with the next billion dollar idea. 

5. You’ll have more willpower to make healthy food choices.

 In conclusion, getting a good night sleep will help you kick ass in life every day! Eat whole foods, workout (that increases brain function as well), and get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. 

Here are my top 9 tips for optimizing sleep

1. Set up a consistent bedtime and wake up time to get your body into a rhythm.

2. Get a comfortable set up (mattress, pillows, sheets).

3. Make the room as dark as possible and turn off or cover any light (even the little lights on your charging devices!).

4. Keep the television/phone/laptop off at least 1-2 hours before you go to sleep. If you can’t go without your phone or laptop, install software that dims the blue light. There are free programs out there like Flux that you can use on your computer and Apple also has a mode called Night Shift that automatically adjusts the blue light on your phone. 

5. Set an optimal sleeping temperature between 60-68 degrees.

6. Cut out alcohol, caffeine and nicotine, which can disrupt your sleep cycles. Alcohol in particular robs you of deep sleep and also lowers your metabolism by 70% just after 1 drink!

7. Get a wake up light that wakes you up gently or use an alarm that plays soothing music so you slowly rise in the morning. 

8. Wear socks to bed… yes, socks.

9. Get a night time routine to help you wind down. Drink chamomile tea, take a bath, use lavender essential oil and supplement with ZMA’s to help relax you prior to bedtime.

 Better sleep may just be the missing link to you living a better high performance life.

 

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