Do you know the Sandman?

How do you sleep? How much do you sleep? How many times do you get up during the night?

These are important questions. We are all both busy and stressed. We rush from place to place. We have too much activity on our plates. And, we worry about having enough time to get everything done. Does this sound familiar?

The problem is that we carry this stress over into our sleep. We go to bed with thoughts of anxiety and deficit of time. And it is killing us.

Sleep is for recuperation. Our bodies and our minds need to rebuild themselves so we can start all over again the next morning. We damage our bodies just by being alive. Every night we rebuild. But we never rebuild fully. Which means there is still some damage left over every day. This is the aging process in very simplistic form. A little damage every day, compiled over days, weeks, months, years and decades eventually amounts to a weakened organism that is susceptible to disease and injury.

Knowing this, you should be more concerned with your own level of recuperation. You should be getting both more sleep and better quality of sleep.

The real rebuilding happens during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. It’s the deepest level of sleep. The problem is that it takes a while for your body to get to that point. If it is interrupted (by snoring, pee breaks, noises, etc) it will then take you a while to get back to the REM state. So, your goal here is to stay in REM sleep as long as possible.

Here are a few hints to help you get better sleep.

  • Go to bed earlier…..DUH!!!!
  • Avoid drinking large amounts of water prior to going to sleep (pee breaks)
  • Avoid stimulants at night (coffee, tea, pre-workout, etc)
  • Avoid large meals just prior to bed
  • Write down your “To Do” list for tomorrow. Then let it go. Don’t replay it in your mind a thousand times. It is written down…..you don’t need to play it out as you lay in bed.
  • Meditate
  • Use soothing music or sounds (ocean, birds, etc) to relax.
  • Use timers to turn off your equipment (TV, cell phones, computers, etc)
  • Use shades and curtains that will completely darken your bedroom.
  • Earplugs if you are super sensitive to every little sound.

You need to prioritize your sleep. Some simple changes can go a long way towards improving your recuperation abilities. Nighty-Night.

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