Thursday, February 11, 2010

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

By Quinn The Mighty

In my How to Recover from Strength Training article, I describe how sleep is the most important factor in recovery. It is important to not only get enough sleep, but to also get quality sleep. In this article, I present 10 tips to fall asleep quickly and to improve the quality of your sleep.

1. Get at least 8 hours of sleep. You should aim for at least 8 hours of a sleep a night. If you are performing strength training, you might actually need up to 10 hours of sleep. Also, remember that you may not fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. You may need to plan for some extra time in bed to make sure you get a least 8 hours of sleep.
2. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise has been shown to help people sleep better and reduce stress. You should avoid exercising right before going to bed. Instead, try working out in the morning or afternoon.
3. Sleep in complete darkness. You should try to make your bedroom as dark as possible. During the night, light can interfere with your circadian rhythm.
4. Shut off all electronics. Electronics can generate electromagnetic fields which may interfere with the production of melatonin and seratonin. Move any electronics that remain on during the night out of your bedroom. Do not sleep with your cell phone near your bed.
5. Keep your bedroom cool. Warmer temperatures can make you uncomfortable and keep you awake. It is recommend that you keep the temperature below 70 degrees F.
6. Avoid television and work before bed. Avoiding television and work before bed will give your mind a chance to unwind. Try reading a relaxing book or taking a warm shower or bath instead.
7. Avoid caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and can keep you up at night. Even an afternoon cup of coffee can effect your sleep. Try reducing your caffeine intake and see if your sleep improves.

8. Keep your alarm clock out of view. If you are struggling to fall asleep, looking at the alarm clock will only make you worry more. You can try moving your alarm clock away from the bed or just turn it around so you cannot see what time it is.
9. Avoid fluids two hours before bed. Drinking too much before bed will cause you to wake up multiple times during the night to use the bathroom.
10. Keep your bed for sleeping. If you are used to working or watching television from bed, falling asleep can become difficult. Whenever you lay down in bed, your body should know it is time to sleep.

Leave a comment and let me know if you have any tips to get a better night’s sleep.

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