Sleep Can Improve Your Quality of Life!

sleepGetting enough sleep plays a vital role in how well your day will go, how alert you are and how you perform.

In fact one of my favorite quotes is: “Seize control of your day since you are responsible for its outcome!”

I recently found myself doing a little research on the importance of sleep. I have a 12 year old who doesn’t like to sleep. So, I set out on a mission to show him of the importance of getting enough rest! He’s an athlete with lots of energy and goes full throttle all day long, but at this stage in his life sleep is a low priority.

The same can be said for many adults who burn the candle at both ends. Often we all have conflicting goals, which cuts into our precious sleep time. There are truly not enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done.

You only have 24 hours and it’s tough to have quality family time, work on a career, exercise, take care of routine tasks like shopping, running errands, helping with homework etc. In addition to all of that you still need some quality time for yourself!

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout our lives. Getting enough quality sleep helps to protect our mental and physical health, quality of life, and safety. Simply said, if we are well rested we’ll perform better throughout the day.

Lack of Sleep is a Serious Problem for Many

According to the National Sleep Foundation:

  • 24 million people are driving while sleepy
  • 49.2 million people can’t concentrate during the day
  • 38.8 million people have trouble remembering things
  • 28.2 million people spend less time doing the things they love to do

All because of a lack of sleep!

 

TMIB-did-you-know-sleep

“Studies indicate that sleep deprivation is linked with lower libido and less interest in sex in both men and women. Sometimes to spice things up you need to start by resting!”

http://www.businessinsider.com

 

 

 

There are many things that contribute to a lack of sleep including; stress, workload, travel schedule and simply being too busy. If you fall into one or more of these categories, here are a few tips for getting a better night’s sleep.


Organize your Day

Plan out your day and budget your hours. For example on a typical week day; say you have 10 hours of work/school/other commitments including getting ready, commuting, etc. Build in 7 hours for sleep, and that leaves you with 7 hours to divide up for your other tasks and activities.

7 hours is not a lot of time, so plan out the best use of this time based on what has to be done. You may even consider creating a log, not much different than a daily planner. List out your activities hour by hour, including ample sleep time.

Eventually you won’t need the log and will be able to effectively organize your day getting a lot more done. It will become natural, a little planning goes a long way!

Develop Better Sleeping Habits.

Like anything else, developing good habits leads to improvement. Good sleeping habits are actually heavily influenced by your daytime routines. A few things that will help include eating the right foods, regular exercise, and sometimes a quick power nap!

Experts say that eating the right foods helps you to fall asleep at night with much less effort. To get better sleep, avoid consuming carbohydrate rich foods and caffeine in the evening.

According to www.YahooHealth.com here are 5 foods that contain nutrients which are conducive to sleeping, even when consumed later in the day.

  • Cherries
  • Bananas
  • Toast
  • Oatmeal
  • Gold old fashioned warm milk!

A quick nap is good for some people, but not all. Once in a while I will steal 10 minutes for a quick early afternoon nap, which helps boost my energy for the rest of the day. I set my phone alarm and wake up ready to go! Give it a try, but don’t “over nap” or nap too late in the evening; this can make it harder to sleep at night.

Exercise Helps with Sleep!

Aside from the obvious mental and physical health benefits, regular exercise also helps you get better sleep! Exercise exerts your body and makes it crave sleep. Your exercise program does not have to be overly strenuous for this to work.

Simple exercises such as brisk walking (see my blog post: Walking towards a longer life http://www.thepersonalizationlife.com/walking-towards-a-longer-life/) or light yoga activities are great, and help you to get better sleep at night.

Here are a few mental exercises to help with sleep.

  • Deep breathing – close your eyes and breathe in and out slowly. Take deep breaths completely filling your lungs and let the air out slowly. Focus solely on your breathing.
  • Nasal breathing – close your eyes and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. This takes great concentration and will relax you.
  • Visualization – close your eyes and shut out all other thoughts. Visualize the lifestyle that you want. Imagine how it will feel to achieve goal after goal, travel to exotic places and do all of the things you want to. What a great way to fall asleep!

Develop Your Own Personalized Sleeping Plan

As you know I’m big into personalization; there is no one plan that will work for everyone, so customize a sleep plan that works for you. You know your body better than anyone else!

Use the advice from this and other articles to develop a flexible plan. Plot out the steps in your plan and implement them. Keep tweaking the plan until you are getting premium sleep.  By doing this you’ll discover the techniques that work best for you.

Create a Comfortable Sleeping Environment

Having a comfortable, nice, and cozy sleeping environment helps a lot! Again you have to figure out what works best for you. Making your bed daily and changing the sheets often makes for a better environment.

We fall asleep to the TV every night and this works for me. Nearly every night we turn on the movie; The Life of Pi with the volume on low and faithfully drift off to it. Plus, I swear every time I watch that movie I see something I had not noticed before!

life of pi sleep

Image courtesy of bollyspice.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be cognizant of what you fall asleep to; I would not recommend loud violent movies.

Some people prefer soft and soothing music, and others prefer complete silence. It’s a personal choice; find out what works best for you.

Here are a few more tips for a healthy sleeping environment I that picked up:

  • White sheets are the most soothing
  • Turn off all lights
  • Close the blinds and curtains
  • Use sleep timers for TV and music players
  • Invest in a quality mattress and pillows
  • Ideal sleeping temperature is between 65º – 70º
  • Shut off the lights and hour before bed time
  • Leave the cell phone in another room, my wife has this problem!

How Much Sleep Do we Need?

The number of hours of sleep needed depends on your age and varies from person to person. Determining your optimal number of sleep hours should be part of your personalized sleep plan.

Here are some general guidelines from the Mayo Clinic ( www.MayoClinic.org )

Infants and Children

Infants often sleep for up to 16 hours each day. Preschoolers should get about 11 hours of sleep each night, and children under the age of 13 should get about 10 hours of sleep a night. Teenagers should get nine hours of sleep a night. Tell that to my son!

Adults

Adults should get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. In fact, the Mayo Clinic states that adults who sleep about seven hours a night have lower mortality rates than those who sleep much more or much less!

To finally get my point across to my son; I equated his body to his smart phone, which he loves. In order for your smartphone to work it has to be plugged in and the battery charged. Your body is no different; it needs to be recharged every night!

Take Your Sleep Plan to the Next Level!

If you want to get more revitalizing sleep and increase your energy level, become more alert and optimize your overall health; check out the  Sleep Solution System for a free presentation with a ton of helpful suggestions and some very “eye opening”  information!

 

I would love to hear your best sleeping tips, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

Until next time take care!

sig sleep

 

 

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