Yes, I know you’ve been doing it for years, but do you really know how to sleep properly? If you do nothing, your body will eventually pass out where it stands, but this is less than ideal.
Regular, refreshing and deep sleep balances your hormones, “resets” your neurochemicals and gives your body and mind a fresh start for the next day
- Set the stage – a firm and supportive mattress, high quality bedding that is soft and breathable, a pillow that aligns your spine, blackout curtains and a perfect temperature, well ventilated and quiet room …I’m getting sleepy already. You spend a huge chunk of your life dozing, so spend some time making sure your equipment is up to scratch.
- Remove interruptions – gracefully turn down that after dinner cappuccino and stay away from heavy meals, exercise, overly stimulating movies or tons of REM disturbing liquids a few hours before you turn in.
- Focus – The day’s over. What’s done is done. Tomorrow, you get a chance to make some fresh mistakes, but worrying won’t make the day come any faster or slower. Clear your head with a meditation, prayer or flip through your favorite poetry book. Deliberately tell yourself that you are going to sleep now, and the cares of the world can come and find you in the morning – where you’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to kick their asses.
- Commit – Within half-hour error margins, try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Just like glasses of water, you don’t need 8 hours of sleep, but very few people thrive on 6 or 10. Settle at an amount that leaves you feeling less like a zombie with morning breath and more like a productive member of a society when you wake up. Remember, too, that as you get older you may require less sleep. It’s all good.
- Spread the love – while napping is usually not a good habit to form, it is a good idea to regularly take time out from your life to take a breath, stretch your neck and get perspective before going in again. Stop every hour you’re at your laptop and walk around or gaze at the birds outside the window. Pause on your walk home to feel the breeze. What I’m saying is, chill out man.
As far as sleep is concerned, I’m pretty sure it’s an easy sell, but many people don’t know just how important sleep is when it comes to weight loss.
Sleep deprivation can affect the hormones that tell you when you’re hungry, you’ll crave crappy comfort foods and the warm caress of your couch on your butt. You’ll make impulse decisions (“why yes, I think I will have a double shot mochaccino with extra syrup and sprinkles, please”) and be nasty to the dog in the mornings. Like water, exercise and good vibes, sleep is one of those things you need to keep your human machine running in tip top shape.