According to experts, very few Americans get enough sleep. And every Strength & Conditioning Coach, every counselor and every bit of common sense says that quality sleep is the number one factor in our well-being.
The Sleep Foundation created a list of sleeping tips which includes things like daily exercise, nightly bedtime rituals, and comfortable sleeping conditions (mattress, pillow, etc.).
In our performance and recovery work with Middle School, High School and adult athletes, we've found a couple of deterrents working against sleep quality--primarily anxiety (over school, work or sports) and schedule (too few available hours). If you want to sleep better, you must pay attention to these two adversaries.
How To Improve Your Sleep
1. Manage Anxiety
The Mayo Clinic listed this as a key priority to sleeping well, and we agree. Our clients say that practice stress management techniques, setting priorities, and praying over anxieties helps. We've also seen tremendous success with how well CBD Oil relieves anxiety AND improves sleep quality. Research supports what we've experienced.
2. Manage Your Schedule
The classic management book 7 Habits for Highly Effective People listed the habit First Things First, meaning "organizing and executing around your most important priorities. It is living and being driven by the principles you value most, not by the agendas and forces surrounding you."
Once you manage these two key deterrents to quality sleep, then you can move on to the easier-to-create listed items.
1. Cold Temperatures Enhance Sleep Quality
Research shows us that people who slept in colder temperatures (roughly 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit) fell asleep quicker and with better quality.
2. Turn Off Your Screens to Enhance Sleep Quality
The light generated from your screen is very similar to that of the sun and can trick your mind into thinking “Its time to stay awake!” Try to eliminate checking your phone before going to bed, even if it’s a part of your bedtime rituals.
3. Develop a Bedtime Routine Conducive to Sleep Quality
Whether it be meditating, stretching, breathing exercises, positive thinking, reading a book, or taking a shower – develop a routine, 1 hour before bed, can be an easy way to “trick” your brain into a sleep mode.
4. Exercise Consistently to Enhance Sleep Quality
Research proves that people who exercise consistently get a higher quality of sleep compared to those who don’t exercise. If the thought of exercising does nothing for you, consider taking a long walk with your spouse or friend.
5. Cryotherapy Enhances Sleep Quality
How does Whole Body Cryotherapy help you sleep better? Because your body responds to the cold by releasing a substantial amount of nor-epinephrine and acetylcholine, two endorphins vital to the activation of REM sleep.
Web MD states: “Endorphins act as analgesics, which mean they diminish the perception of pain. They also act as sedatives. They are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neuron receptors endorphins bind to are the same ones that bind some pain medicines . . . Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body . . . the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as “euphoric.”
Try following these simple steps to help you enhance your sleep quality and, ultimately, brain functioning.