Three Easy Improvements for the Quality of Your Sleep
It is likely that you are aware that sleep is important for your wellbeing, recovery and overall health. I as a Online Personal Trainer, also see it as the underestimated training aspect. The amount of sleep is relatively easily changed to the recommended hours of sleep. Not only the amount of sleep is important, also the quality of your sleep is important. Maybe you have experienced it yourself: you might have slept for (more than) 8 hours, but still wake up tired. Those nights, the quality of your sleep was lacking. Here are three relatively easy improvements for the quality of your sleep.
1. Reduce Light Exposure Before Bedtime
The influence of light on your biorhythm is amazing. In case you have experienced outdoor camping or anchoring while sailing, you might have exeperienced it the way I did. In both situations I went to bed not long after sunset and I woke up with sunrise. There was no or hardly artificial light and no TV to keep you up and awake long after sunset. Your body secretes a hormone called melatonin throughout the day and the amount and timing is depending on light being sensed by your body. So, it is not only what you look at but it is where we start.
In order to prepare your body for sleep, you should avoid light exposure around 30 minutes before going to bed. The light being emitted by TV, phones and tablets is what they call “blue light” and this light affects your melatonin production. There are three ways to assure this:
- Change the settings of your devices for the evening. Most phones, tablets and computers have the possibility to change the light of the screen to filter or take out blue light. On some devices you can even have this scheduled automatically at a certain time.
- For your TV (or other light emission) you can also purchase a special pair of glasses that block blue light. I personally have no experience with these. I am tempted to try it, but have not found a pair that is available where I live.
- Nonetheless the best way to make sure you prepare for sleep, is to stay away from light emitting devices. So no TV, computer, tablet or phone in the last 30 minutes before going to bed.
2. Darken your Bedroom
For the same reasons that you should reduce light exposure before going to bed, you should remove any light in your bedroom. Your body will sense light, even when you have your eyes closed. That is why you should block any light that might be in your bedroom. Opt for heavier curtains that block all light that might be outside, tape off the light of an airconditioning unit if you have that, charge and leave your phone outside of the bedroom. You should really create a dark cave for yourself. Nevertheless the best way to wake up, is with slowly increasing light. So it might also be worthwile to invest in a so called ‘wake up lamp’. This will make sure you have a very natural way to wake up.
3. Reduce the Temperature
During the night, your body needs to cool down. This is necessary to reduce the level of cortisol (the stress hormone), improve growth hormone production and has other benefits. The best temperature is around 16 degrees Celsius (or 60 degrees Fahrenheit), it depends on your situation and location how you could achieve this. For instance, I cannot open a window to cool the bedroom during the night since it does not cool off enough.
What To Do Now
Give these three tips a try and you will definitely improve the quality of your sleep. If you want to know more on how to improve the quality of your sleep, or if you want to know more about the services of Continuous Improvement Fitness get in touch.
Start now, not tomorrow!