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Having Trouble Falling Asleep?

Tanner Batten | tanner@paradigmsport.com

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 5 Tips for Falling Asleep and Resting Well

When it comes to recovering from your training, sleep is the most important factor.  Many people rave about foam rollers, supplements, nutrient timing, cryotherapy, but without sleep these recovery modalities won’t get you far.  Getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night is the best way to maintain your health and feel fresh for your training sessions.  As the New Year begins many people start out with good intentions by getting to bed earlier, but have a hard time actually falling asleep.  These 5 simple tips can help you fall asleep faster and improve your overall sleep quality. 

1.     Turn Off Electronics 30 Minutes Prior to Bedtime

In the world of smart phones, social media, and Netflix, many people are constantly looking at a screen.  This can interfere with our circadian rhythm (your 24-hour internal clock, cycling between alertness and sleepiness at regular intervals) and melatonin production, making it hard to fall asleep.  To improve sleep quality, turn off all electronics 30-60 minutes before falling asleep.  Try reading a book or some light stretching instead!

2.     Establish your Circadian Rhythm

Whether you realize it or not, we are all are creatures of habit that thrive off of consistency.  Going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day will help to establish your circadian rhythm.  Your body will begin to wake you up before your alarm and release melatonin in preparation for bedtime.  Remember to stay away from caffeine and excessive alcohol before bed.  This will ensure you sleep longer and better!  

3.     Create a Positive Sleep Environment

Another way to ensure better sleep quality is to create an environment conducive to sleep.  Keeping your room as dark as possible and adding some white noise will eliminate distractions and help you fall asleep faster! Try adding a guided meditation or breathing drill for an even more relaxing experience.    

4.     De-Stress

Even if we don’t feel stressed our bodies can be tense and keep us awake.  Taking a warm shower or performing some light stretching can help your relax your body and your mind. Try adding in your five-minute movement flow right before bed and see how well you sleep!

5.     Create a Sleep Ritual  

This is where all the points come together.  Like I said, our bodies crave routine and consistency. Start to put these habits together to create a nightly sleep ritual. A sleep ritual may look like this: turn off electronics 30 minutes before bed, take a warm shower, do some light stretching, and read for a few minutes. It may feel strange at first, but your body will soon adjust and begin to expect these behaviors.  If done the same time each night you will be able to fall asleep faster and wake up more rested.

I simply cannot overstate the importance of sleep.  Without it, you will feel mentally foggy which will impede achieving your true training potential.  As the New Year begins try going to bed earlier and creating a sleep ritual to improve your health and well-being.  I guarantee you will feel the difference!


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