Sleep is a key component of a 100 percent healthy life. Sleep expert Sammy Margo, the author of The Good Sleep well in the night for healthy mind guide, the good sleep expert, explains
Getting enough how to sleep well in the night for healthy mindfulness is essential if you want to be fit, healthy, and work out well.
Studies have found that good sleep can improve speed, accuracy, and reaction time in athletes. If we don’t get enough how to sleep well, we don’t perform well.
So What Happens When You’re Deprived of Sleep
Decreased energy: Sleep deprivation reduces your body’s ability to store glycogen – the energy that you need during endurance events.
Reduced reflexes: Studies have shown that athletes who don’t get enough sleep well are worse at making split-second decisions and less accurate.
Hormonal changes: Not getting enough to sleep well can increase levels of the hormone cortisol, a stress hormone that can slow down healing, increase the risk of injuries, and worsen memory.
It also lowers levels of growth hormone that helps repair the body.
How to Sleep Helps Active People
Studies have found clear evidence that increasing sleep has real benefits for athletes and active people.
A 2011 study tracked the Stanford University basketball team for several months. Players added an average of almost two hours of sleep a night. Players increased their speed by five percent. They had faster reflexes and felt happier.
So, if you are trying to improve your performance at sport, work, or simply be more alert all day, try sleeping an extra hour.
This may mean going to bed an hour earlier or taking a ‘Churchillian’ nap, but don’t nap after 4 pm as it will disrupt sleep.
HOW TO SLEEP WELL
1 WAKE TIME- Try to wake up at the same time every morning including weekends and holidays –we humans like rhythm and routine.
2 DAYLIGHT EXPOSURE- Get some daylight exposure first thing in the morning as this will help reset your body clock.
3 CAFFEINE CUT-OFF TIME- Watch your caffeine intake and monitor how it impacts on your sleep well. Create a caffeine cut-off time, for example, don’t have any caffeine after lunch.
4 ALCOHOL WATCH- Monitor the effect of the number of alcoholic drinks you consume on the quality of your sleep and find an optimal number of glasses that doesn’t prevent you from getting into the deeper stages of sleep well.
5 SLEEPY SNACKS- Ensure that your evening meal/snack consists of sleep-promoting substances such as turkey, warm milk, honey, marmite on toast, lettuce, almonds, Horlicks/ Ovaltine or other malt drinks, bananas.
Bananas are practically a ‘sleeping pill in apeel’ containing magnesium, melatonin, and serotonin to help you snooze.
6TECHNOLOGY CUT-OFF TIME- Set yourself a realistic technology cut off time. Leave your smartphone out of the room so that you are not tempted to check it!
The blue light emitted from these devices can inhibit the production of melatonin, which promotes sleep, a study from the University of Washington has found.
7 BEDTIME ROUTINE- Have a warm shower or bath 30 to 40 minutes before bedtime.
Add a few drops of lavender to the running water, light some candles, and play some relaxing music as part of your bedtime routine.
Listen to an audiobook to send you off to sleep well.
8 BEDROOM REVIEW- Ensure that your room is cool, and kept at 16 to 18 degrees centigrade. This is the optimal temperature to aid the release of your sleepy hormones. Lighting should be adjusted too.
Your body is programmed to sleep well when the lights are out. Ideally, install blackout curtains, or failing that, wear an eye mask.