The Power of Sleep : How to Sleep like a Baby in a World of Stress and Stimulants
Posted On By Nick
Sleep is probably the most underrated marker for improving overall physical health and mental well-being.
When trying to improve health and fitness, most people focus on working out more by either running, cycling and lifting weights. Whilst at the same time trying to improve their diet, by eating better quality foods and either reducing calories to lose weight, or increasing calories to build muscle.
Whilst these are important there’s something equally as important…
In todays day and age sleep is poor, we’re over stimulated with blue light from TV, phones and laptop screens, and consume copious amounts of caffeine via coffee, tea and energy drinks.
When waking up we feel tired and have little energy for the day, so we consume coffee to stimulate us and help us get through the day, then in the evening we watch Netflix and scroll social media feeds. This means we find it hard to switch off and go into a deep sleep.
Then the cycle begins again.
This a recipe for burnout, fatigue, illness, disease and overall poor health!
The Importance Of Sleep…
When we sleep well i.e. 8 hours of high quality uninterrupted sleep our bodies physically repair. The benefits mentally are enormous too – it’s an opportunity to process the days events, regulate emotions, gain insight, and improve creativity.
Lots of the worlds most revolutionary innovators, for example Steve Jobs, and Albert Einstein knew the importance of sleep. It helped them to gain new, deeper perspectives, helping them to solve problems and make huge scientific/ technological breakthroughs.
Earlier this year I read a fantastic book (one of the best books I’ve read to date) which is called ‘Why We Sleep’ by Matthew Walker – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Why-We-Sleep-Science-Dreams-ebook/dp/B06Y649387
It changed the way I view sleep, and I now sleep far better and have a great quality of life thanks to the insights gained from that book.
But, how do we improve sleep? Here are four very effective tips to help..
4 Tips To Improve Sleep…
#1 Lower caffeine intake – if you drink 2 cups of coffee per day, cut down to one. You could also switch to decaf tea’s/coffee, although they do still contain caffeine it’s far less than normal. I’d also recommend avoiding caffeine after midday – it takes around 8-10 hours for caffeine to wear off
#2 Take a bath before bed – having a nice, warm relaxing bath will help you relax before going to bed. It’s a great opportunity to switch off your phone and just chill. A hot bath will also raise your body temperature, but then when you get out of the bath your body temperature will drop. The drop in temperature is important because your body needs to cool down before going into a deep sleep.
#3 Take a sleep supplement – sleeping pills are often very bad, and although they work they can make people extra groggy, and they also make sleeping far harder when users come off them. Instead I prefer to use a good quality supplement like Elite ZMB – https://www.myelitehealth.co.uk/muscle/elite-zinc-magnesium-b6 The zinc and magnesium help the body to relax, making it easier to go into a deep sleep.
#4 Sleep In A Dark Room – the darker the better. It’s worth investing in black out blinds, or if not… a sleeping mask. The body releases melatonin when it gets dark, melatonin is a hormone which signals the body to start preparing for sleep.
Also a couple of hours before bed, make-sure to make your house darker, i.e. by switching off main lights, and using lamps, or candles instead. This will help you gradually unwind and also start preparing the body to switch off when it’s time for bed.
With over 10,000 hours worth of coaching experience, Nick helps bring out the best in people both mentally and physically through his personal training business ‘LEP Fitness’When he’s not training clients or in the gym working out, he’s running around having fun with his one year old son, reading books, and spending time with family and friends.