Sleep quality is very important! Human beings spent one third of their lives sleeping. Sleep quality points how important is sleep for our health. Just like when you plug in your cell phone charger to fill the battery, sleep is the charger for our bodies and our batteries regenerate and recharge.
Sleep quality is very important!! If you sleep suffers all of the following will suffer: you are likely to have one or more of these symptoms:
- Diminished libido
- Weaker erections
- Bad skin, more wrinkles (the less you sleep, the more stress hormone cortisol you release which then breaks down collagen, a protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic)
- Lack of energy
- Suppressed immune system
- Lack of focus and concentration
- Memory problems
- Higher risk of developing diabetes 2, cancer, heart disease etc.
Below I will list 10 most common habits that are destroying your sleep quality and subsequently your energy, health, libido etc.
ROOM TEMPERATURE IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR SLEEP QUALTY
This is much more important than people think and it is important because humans have a body clock that regulates your core temperature and it’s fluctuations tell you when to sleep and when to wake up. Our bodies are coolest in the middle of the night when in sleep is the deepest. If you become too warm your internal clock assumes it’s time to rise and if you are too cold your body tries to keep you moving to increase metabolism and keep you warm so you won’t be as sleepy.
Since every person is different, more specifically has a different metabolic rate (muscles, hormones, bodyweight etc.) there is no universal optimal room temperature, but a good tip would be to keep it between 18 to 22 degrees Celsius and experiment where you feel most relaxed and sleepy.
Stress is the universal killer of the 21st century also for sleep quality, it disrupts our health on multiple levels and sleep is no exception. Most people I know get into a habit of going of what they have to do and everything that is wrong at the end of the day before going to sleep. This is a huge mistake. You have to consciously put in the effort to find a relaxing activity that will keep your mind of your worries. Read a joke, watch a short 2-3 minute funny video, close your eyes and make positive and optimistic visualization, meditate, but for god’s sake don’t analyze that fight you had at work or with some girl, stress over money or any other issue for that matter. If you are going to fix any problem, you need to be rested, focused and full of energy and without a good night sleep you are only shooting yourself in the foot.
EATING TOO MUCH BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP
This is one of the most common and worse habits people make for sleep quality. I hear it all the time. I just don’t have enough time during the day, I am too busy, this is the only time of the day I have for myself etc… Think logically! If you eat a big meal before going to sleep, the energy that your body is supposed to use to regenerate and charge your batteries is now directed to digest the meal you ate. Also, you do not need any additional calories especially coming from carbohydrates before going to sleep. Keep those calories as a source of energy during the day when you can efficiently use them.
My advice would be to not eat at least 2 hours before bed, preferably 4 and as a source of food use some lean protein and vegetables. Avoid carbs and fatty heavy foods.
EXPOSURE TO ARTIFICIAL LIGHT
As I already mentioned our bodies have an internal clock that is often referred to as circadian rhythm – a 24 hour cycle that tells out bodies when to rise, sleep, eat and regulates many physiological processes. This cycle is very much influenced by our exposure to light. According with circadian rhythm for the most part of our evolution we went to sleep after sundown and woke up with sunrise. The dark triggers hormone melatonin which then makes us sleepy and triggers the regeneration, „battery charging „process. With sunrise melatonin drops off and we wake up. With all the artificial light around us this cycle has been seriously compromised. Not only we use artificial lightning but most people today to very late hours are exposed to so called blue light that is emitted by TV, smartphones and computers. This disrupts the melanin levels, damages your eyesight, causing the quality of your sleep to crumble along with your energy and libido.
Keep in mind, after your body is lacking sleep, you will eventually get tired and fall asleep, but if your eyesight hasn’t been exposed to complete dark, the melatonin levels will be very low and the quality of that sleep and the whole recharge mechanism will be only a fraction of what it should be.
Dim all the lights couple of hours before going to sleep and avoid using your smartphone, computer and watching TV.
If you do decide to use them try installing a blue light filter, you can get them for free on google play store or online (one of the best is software f.lux).
MISSUSE OF MEDICATION AND SUPPLEMENTS
If you take medications or supplements, you might be consuming substances that disrupt your sleep without knowing it. Some supplements contain the stimulants ginseng and guarana, which have an effect that is similar to caffeine. Some headache and cold medications also contain caffeine and other stimulants. Medications like steroids d beta-blockers can also keep you awake at night. Check ingredient labels closely and talk with your doctor if you suspect that a prescription medication is disrupting your sleep. If you are supplementing with vitamin B avoid taking it before sleep, because it increases energy and stimulates your nervous system.
The best mineral to add as a supplement before bed is magnesium. It will relax your muscles and body in general also preventing night cramps many people experience and ruins their sleep.
STIMULATING YOUR BRAIN
Brain and body are interconnected, and if you wake up your body you will wake up your brain and have a harder time falling asleep. Try to avoid all activities that stimulate your brain – playing video games, checking sport scores and your smartphone. Check all your message an hour before going to sleep the turn down the volume on your smartphone. Our brain have developed a Pavlonian response to the tone of the cellphone, if you get a new message, you automatically check it. Also, like I already mentioned all that light exposure, even just from your smartphone, your body will interpret it as a strong trigger that it is daytime.
TOO MUCH WATER
Having enough water and keeping hydrated is one of the basics to keep our bodies healthy, but drinking too much before going to sleep is only going to send you running to the bathroom during the night, knocking you out of your deep sleep which is the most important stage when all of your regeneration hormones (growth hormone and testosterone) peak.
Try to avoid drinking water couple of hours before bed and also avoid watery foods like some fruits. Keep your intake of fluids during the day high though, it is one of the most basic and important things you can do for your body.
Many people claim that alcohol relaxes them and helps them fall asleep easier, which is actually true in many cases and may sound like a good thing but it also robs us of our REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, which is the stage where dreams occur. The consequence of this is that our sleep feels less restful and we end up groggy and dehydrated in the morning. Not only can alcohol disrupt our sleep, but it can also stop us from sleeping entirely. Persistent consumption of alcohol before bed as a means to “help us sleep” can have a huge negative effect and cause insomnia. If you wish to drink in the evenings, try stopping around 2 hours before bedtime.
EXERCISING LATE IN THE DAY
Just like drinking water is generally very good for us, so is exercising, but before to bed is a big no-no for sleep quality!
Our body temperature decreases at night, which is a signal that it’s time to sleep. Exercise however, can raise our body temperature as much as two degrees and also stimulates our heart, brain and muscles. This couldn’t be more opposite from what we want. Bear in mind that regular exercise can actually help us have a more restful night, so it is recommended that we exercise at least 3 hours before bedtime, but not later than that.
ALLOWING LIGHT INTO YOUR ROOM
I already mentioned that you should avoid artificial lighting before bed because it will sabotage your melatonin levels which is a crucial hormone that regulates our sleep quality cycle.
Besides not using your electronical devices (TV, laptop, smartphone, playing consoles etc.) before going to bed turn of all the devices so the on/off lamps do not flash because even this is strong enough to enter your retina when your eyes are closed.
Also, pull your curtains all the way down so the street light doesn’t get in. Even if you fall asleep easily it is crucial not to wake up during the deepest stage of your sleep, because it is in this stage that the body regrows and repairs tissue, builds bone and muscle and strengthens your immune system. It also indirectly solves your inner game.
If you would like to find out more how about this subject, identify what may be the cause of your sleep issues, improve the quality of your sleep and have better energy and sex drive contact me at [email protected]. Depending on your issues I will set up a complete diet, lifestyle routine and supplementation to get your body to that next level.
See you next week, stay strong!
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