Sleep is something that a lot of us are missing in our lives. We spend so much time and effort on eating the right foods, going to the gym, and drinking plenty of water, but we overlook how vital sleep is to overall health.
You can’t shortchange sleep. Eventually, sacrificing sleep is going to catch up to you. You can down a million cups of coffee, but at some point, you’re going to pay the sleep tax.
People who don’t get enough sleep can end up in harmful cycles where it’s go-go-go until they crash and burn. Unfortunately, many don’t learn the lesson, and once they come out of hibernation, they are back at it burning the candle at both ends.
Building a habit of getting appropriate sleep, and, perhaps more importantly, high-quality sleep is key to staying clear-headed and sharp. Thankfully, more and more businesses and other organizations are dropping the ethos of work until you drop, and are putting more emphasis on people getting sleep.
If you’re having a hard time getting better sleep, or are trying to build the habit of getting the amount of sleep that you need, here are 5 secrets to get you there.
Secret 1- Manage Your Screen Time
Looking at your phone, answering that last email, or playing video games before you go to bed is bad for sleep. Your brain activity shoots up as it is processing all of the stimuli coming from your electronics.
On top of that, staring at the bright screen of your phone, TV, or computer before bed puts strain on your eyes and makes it difficult for them to relax.
If you want to get better sleep, you need to manage how much screen time you’re getting before you hit the bed. If you’re on your devices right up until you turn the lights off, you’re more likely to toss and turn for an hour or two until you finally doze off.
Set a time limit and give yourself an hour before you sleep to come down off of all of that screen time. You’ll fall asleep faster and get into deep sleep more quickly.
Secret 2 – Create a Sleep Routine
Getting better sleep often has a lot to do with how much sleep you get. The faster you can fall asleep, and the more relaxed you are before bed will have a huge impact on how you feel in the morning.
Good sleep makes you wake up feeling energized and rested. Poor sleep can feel like you didn’t sleep a wink.
A great way to get better sleep is to establish a routine that lets your body know what’s coming. Too many people have a hard time getting to sleep because they don’t have a routine.
Dim the lights, set the phone down, read a book, or do something else that will relax you and let your body know that sleep time is coming.
Secret 3 – Do a Sleep Study
You can find medical providers who are sleep experts. They’ll bring you into the clinic and hook you up to sensors that measure how quickly you fall asleep and the quality of sleep you’re getting.
A sleep study is a fantastic way to get expert opinions on what type of sleep you’re getting and how to improve your sleep habits. They’ll give you pointers on what to do, what positions to sleep in, and how much sleep you need to get to make sure you’re getting the deep recovery sleep that your body needs.
Secret 4 – Check Out Sermorelin
Sermorelin is one of a handful of growth hormone-releasing hormones. Researchers are conducting studies into its ability to do things from improving sleep to increasing bone density. Research done with rainbow trout showed that Sermorelin boosted orexin secretion, which is critical to getting good sleep. There’s hope that this research can lead to a more effective treatment of common sleep disorders that plague so many people.
Secret 5 – Reduce Caffeine Intake
If you’re a coffee or a caffeinated soda drinker, drinking caffeine too close to when you want to go to sleep can have negative effects on sleep quality. Your body is still dealing with the stimulants, and, as a result, will take longer to wind down and fall asleep.
Older people also have a harder time dealing with caffeine before bedtime. To fix this, give yourself a proper cutoff time where you don’t drink any more coffee or soda. Ideally, it will be several hours before you go to sleep to ensure the best quality of sleep possible. However, everyone is different, so you’ll need to track when you stop drinking caffeine and how your body responds.
Overall, an added focus on getting to bed and preparing better for sleep will pay dividends. You’ll have more energy, and will notice that you’re sharper throughout the day.