TURN THE DAM THING OFF: shut the computer down and get off your phone dude, while you’re at it swap the TV for a novel at least 30min before bed. Now I know this is a long shot, and it takes effort, we are absolutely addicted to the little blue light and that my friend is a problem. In short, the backlight on all our devices mucks up our natural sleep cycle. As civilized monkeys, we are programmed to get sleepy when the sun sets, but thanks to electricity and fabulous technology we don’t hit darkness until approximately 3 seconds before we expected to pass out. Aint gunna happen’. Because we stay in artificial sunshine until like, 10pm at night, our brains don’t produce the serotonin it would naturally that makes us sleep easy hence while we remain wide-awake. We are literally designed to go to sleep when it gets dark, so if you’ve made a habit of ignoring this innate law, you need to make a change.
Since we're addicts, we need to tread lightly, start by switching off ten minutes before bed, than jump to fifteen, twenty, all the way to thirty and enjoy those rising serotonin levels and sleepy eyes.
GET UP AND GO: so when astronauts wake up they jump on a trampoline for 10minutes, I’m not even joking, astronauts jump on trampolines in the morning. Great mental image. Now we all know they are the smartest of smart, so there has to be logic behind it right? Jumping around is said to be the best way to wake the body and get all its bits and pieces working from the get go. In my opinion, if NASA swears by it we should too. If you’re not keen on bouncing around just move, stretch, dance, anything that fires up the systems early on is proven to allow you to sleep earlier on also. Quality of exercise is also really important, slow it down, sharpen it up, again, the quality over quantity rule is important here, but even more importantly, know what works for you, and do it.
PUT THE COFFEE DOWN: or any Caffeine containing substance for that matter, yep green tea is OUT. You all know caffeine is a powerful stimulant and while you’re nervous system is firing, you aint sleeping honey. 4pm is a common time to avoid from, but depending on you it can be earlier or later. Know yourself.
DON’T EAT IT: You really shouldn’t eat anything at least 90minutes before bed, but we all feel the need to snack, chocolate anyone? NO! Avoid carbs (yea sugar) as much as possible late at night. The blood sugar spike will result in a blood sugar drop throughout the night that is very likely to wake you right up and stop you from sleeping. Chocolate vs sleep, chocolate vs sleep. I know its hard but at least try for us.
OMMMM: Meditation time. No you don’t have to sacrifice 45 minutes of instagram scrolling. Literally, all it has to take is 5 minutes to reap the benefits. We hit the pillow with our heads full of fluster and calculations and memories and hopes and dreams that keep us ticking, we need to slow it down. Meditation increases “feel-good” hormones and endorphins, lowers stress hormones, and even reduces inflammation in our body. It’s a must in the book of better sleep. There are so many different techniques that work for different people; you just need to find one that agrees with you.
PRIORITISE SLEEP: Along the lines, we’ve decided that the new episode of game of thrones is worth sacrificing and extra hour of sleep for. I know that’s a though one, because yes, I know its awesome but go to bed already. Shift this for the better, watch it tomorrow afternoon, or save it for the weekend. We need to start taking sleep seriously, far out people, sleep is now being linked to so many illnesses you don’t want to have, its important okay. So basically everything in this world has a chain reaction, with sleep its likely to look like this: tired: grumpy: stressed: easily agitated: angry at work: yell at your co-worker: get fired. Okay so maybe you’re not fired yet but I know you know what I’m talking about, without sleep we become lesser versions of ourselves because we are not correctly rested and therefore cannot function to our optimum capacity. Lack of sleep then transfers to all other areas of life and all other humans in our lives (think of the idea of second hand smoking, now think of it as second hand sleep). Without it, we take away form the happiness we have to share with others, the effort we could be putting into becoming better, the success we could be achieving at work, the fun we could be having with our friends and family, the love we deserve to give ourselves, all because you don’t have the energy levels that you could with adequate sleep.
Thanks to Ali and Kel for the great article. For more info on what these legends are getting up to and how they can help YOU - visit - www.naitivhealthco.com