Sleep is essential if you want to live a healthy and happy life. But what happens if you live a hectic life which prevents you from getting your 8 hours? That's when sleep quality over quantity comes into play.
To make up for lost hours of sleep you must improve your sleep quality in the following ways:
1. Do Some Light Reading Instead Of Watching TV
Over 50% of America switch on the TV before they go to bed. TV disturbs your natural sleep habits by making you stay up longer than you usually would, especially if you are watching something of a violent or exciting nature.
TV also disrupts the natural release of melatonin in the body, melatonin is responsible for regulating sleep cycles and helping you fall asleep at night. The human body is naturally accustomed to feel drowsy when the sun goes down and when it starts to get dark. By switching on the TV you fool your body into thinking it's still daytime, this is caused by the huge backlight in the TV.
Instead of switching on the TV read a book, but make sure it's a hard copy not an ebook, as most e-readers have strong backlights. Light reading before bed can help you fall into a deep sleep quickly.
2. Avoid Caffeine 6 Hours Before You Sleep
Having a cup of coffee within a few hours of bed time can have you tossing and turning for hours when your trying to sleep. Coffee isn't the only caffeine containing product, avoid chocolate, tea, pre-workout supplements and soda.
3. Create A Sleep Inducing Environment
Turn your bedroom into a sleep inducing chamber, turn the temperature down, install proper curtains which block out the light, and if noise is a problem use earplugs. Don't keep pets in the bedroom if they tend to wake you up during the night.
You can help your brain associate your bedroom with sleep by using your bedroom solely for sleep and sex. Doing work and watching TV in your bedroom can lead to a non-sleep association with your bedroom and you may find it difficult to fall asleep.
Clear your mind by meditating 15-20 minutes before you hit the sack. Mediation helps reduce stress and may even reduce cortisol levels. The main cause of long sleepless nights is stress, so get 15-20 minutes of meditation before your head hits the pillow.
5. Train Hard & Train Early
The easiest way to feel tired at night is to physically exhaust your body, hence training hard. A 45-90 minute workout consisting of resistance and cardio should be enough to exhaust your system.
Training at night has its drawbacks, elevating your heart rate prior to sleeping can cause restlessness in most people. It's common to feel too awake and alert after a good workout, so it would not be wise to workout at night if you already have trouble sleeping. Avoid training 4 hours prior to sleeping.
6. Eat Light At Night
It's common tradition to have the biggest meal of the day at night in the form of dinner. But for athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts it should be the complete opposite. The first meal and the post-workout meal should be the largest, with dinner being the smallest. As the day progresses you should taper down carbohydrates and increase protein.
Eating late at night is a surefire way to cause insomnia. Consuming a large meal prior to sleeping may cause indigestion and stomach aches during sleep. If your feeling hungry late at night have a casein protein shake or a bowl of cottage cheese.
7. Don't Drink Too Much Water/Fluids
Drinking too much water/fluids late at night negatively impacts sleep quality. Excess fluids at night can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, disturbing your sleep cycle. Taper down your fluids as the day progresses.
8. Avoid Alcohol
Even though alcohol is very effective at making you feel drowsy and tired, it's horrible for sleep quality. Alcohol is a natural diuretic, which means it causes your body to excrete excess water, so you may find yourself waking up multiple times during the night to go to the bathroom.
Alcohol induced sleep is not a restful sleep by any means, alcohol disrupts your body's natural sleep cycles, leading to an unrefreshed feeling upon waking.
9. Go To Sleep When You Are Really Tired
We have all had days where we tried to go to sleep early thinking we will get a nice 9 or 10 hours sleep. 4 hours of tossing and turning later, combined with constant staring at the clock we realize it's not going to happen. Go to sleep only when you start to feel sleepy instead of wasting your time staring at the clock.
10. Don't Stare At The Clock
Being a clock-watcher can actually increase stress and make it harder to fall asleep. Make sure the clock is not visible while your sleeping, if it's a digital one, cover it with a cloth or towel.
11. Have A Consistent Sleep Routine
Studies show that people who sleep and wake up at the same time everyday are more rested than those who have erratic irregular sleep patterns. Set your alarm to the same time everyday including weekends.
Studies also show that binge sleeping on the weekend to make up for lost sleep is counterproductive, you should aim to get the same amount of sleep everyday, whether that's 8 or 6 hours.
12. Limit Napping 【已有很多网友发表了看法，点击参与讨论】【对英语不懂，点击提问】【英语论坛】【返回首页】
Napping during the day might seem like the right thing to do when you feel tired, but if you plan on sleeping well at night think again. Napping during the day will interfere with your natural sleep patterns, if you do choose to nap, limit it to 30 minutes per day.