Essentials to Better Sleep

by - 11:16 AM




Sleep...

Something we all need more of, but never seem to get. 

My roommate my freshman year of college can attest to the fact that our first year, we didn't go to sleep before 2 a.m. I would work till 10 pm, hang out downtown with friends, play music till after midnight, then head to waffle house for some late night studying before 8 a.m. classes.

That trend was the same for medical school, late nights and lots of caffeine.

Now, I'm somewhat settled in my career and still many things vying for time. Time that should be devoted to sleep.   

However, after waking up to my first alarm this morning after 7.5 hours of sleep, alert, somewhat pleasant to be around (even before my first cup of coffee), not to mention checking off 3 things off my to do list before technically starting my work day I can definitely attest to the power of a good night's sleep.

Evidence and personal experience shows sleep is important. 

That being said, here are 3 essentials to make sure you are getting quality sleep. 

1. Realize sleep is AWESOME.

Sleep...

  • Makes you less grouchy and more pleasant to be around
  • Improves concentration
  • Enhances memory
  • Triggers the release of important hormones
  • Is essential to recovery from workouts
  • Decreases risk of sickness
  • Makes you more attractive

2. Manage your light

Too much light before bed decreases your ability to get a good nights rest. Consider...

  • Keeping lights low near the end of the day
  • Banning laptops, cell phones, and TVs from the bedroom (There are plenty of other reasons for this besides better sleep)
  • Consider installing a software such as flux to adapt your computers screen to the time of day. Then, if you have to use your computer at night there is less blue light to disturb your sleep.

3. Be consistent 

The body thrives on consistency and habit.  It is no different when it comes to sleep. Inconsistent bedtimes and wake times can greatly affect your quality of sleep. Try...

  • Determine how much sleep you need.  Some people thrive on 6-7 hours while many may need 7-9.
  • Set your bedtime and wake time and stick with it (even on your days off)
  • Apps like sleepbot are great tools to help keep your sleep consistent and wake you up in the prime waking time of your sleep cycle.

- Jeff

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References:

  • https://justgetflux.com/
  • http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/reset-sleep-cycle
  • http://www.foxnews.com/health/2010/12/15/study-beauty-sleep-really-does-make-attractive/
  • http://www.insomnia-free.com/sleep-schedule.html
  • https://mysleepbot.com/

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