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It is the weirdest yet necessary function that we spend ⅓ of our life doing. Some of us spend maybe ⅕ of our life sleeping which can make for trouble later down the road.
The body uses energy during the waking hours, therefore we need to allow it time to rest, recover, and restore itself so it can function optimally. What will it take to convince you to get better sleep? Let’s look at what happens in the body during this incredibly complex process.
There are two different types of sleep: Slow-Wave Sleep (SWS) and Deep Sleep, also known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM). Once the brain triggers the SWS, you go into a loss of consciousness. After a little while of SWS, your brain becomes highly active while the body becomes paralyzed. REM sleep is the deeper, restful sleep that begins about 70-90 minutes after falling asleep. The brain moves in and out of SWS and REM sleep throughout the night. Collecting several intervals of REM sleep is what allows us to wake up refreshed and ready for the day.
Conquer poor sleep patterns with these tools:
Sync your internal clock with the sun cycle. This maximizes the peak of your alertness as well as the trough, your deep restful sleep in your 24 hour cycle. Live by the sun. Go to bed when the sun goes down and wake up when the sun comes up.
Part of working in your circadian rhythm is learning when it is best to eat your biggest meal of the day and when to exercise. When you find this harmony in your daily activities, you will find harmony with your sleep cycles.
Scheduling alarms for your morning wake up is just common sense. Try to also schedule 2 alarms in the evening: the first to notify you that you have 1 hour before bedtime to wind down, and the second alarm to notify it’s time for restful sleep.
Night and Morning Routine
Build yourself a morning hour. You tackle the first hour of the day, you win the day. If you also take the last hour of the day to wind down and prepare for the next day, you are setting yourself up to win the next day.
Read Before Bed
Removing harmful blue light and any electronic devices from your bedroom can make your sleeping hours more restful. Limit screen time 1-2 hours before bedtime. Try reading some books or listening to music instead. If you must have the screens before bed, an option is to download a program like Iris to adjust the screen resolution to a warmer, subtle, red light that is less exhausting for the eyes.
Take a Nap
Short naps in the middle of the day are shown to improve mood, memory, performance, and productivity. And for self love purposes, napping quickly reduces stress thus improving immune health. A longer nap with REM sleep can boost your creative side, as REM is associated with dreaming and visualization.
Go to bed 15 min earlier
Well, because darkness is physiologically stressful. Sleep is restorative. Simple as that.
Tidy up your space, wash your sheets, use a clean pillow, and breathe some fresh air. You don’t want to be hosting dust, mites, or dead skin in the place you spend 1/3 of your life.
Studies show lowering the room temperature to around 66-68 degrees is shown to help metabolic function.