Getting a Good Nights Rest
Although our goal is to become an early riser, understanding sleep helps us get the quality sleep we need, which makes it easier to become an early riser. Getting a good night's sleep is essential to our overall well being. Ample and quality sleep means higher energy levels during the day, better mood and higher business productivity, all of which translates to a clear and more fulfilling lifestyle.
Where do you get your best sleep?
Improving Daily Sleep Quality
Incorporate exercise in your daily routine: As we all know, the health benefits of exercise has been well documented in scientific studies. The beauty of exercise for health is that it improves the system as a whole. For the purpose of early rising, exercising improves our cardiovascular system and allows us to fall asleep easier. Take 30 minutes of your day and get your heartbeat up and break a sweat. Although I would recommend a short quick exercise everyday, if that's difficult, aim for at least 3 days a week.
The exercise does not have to be an all out effort. A simple moderate paced stroll around the block or a light jog is enough to offer benefits. One thing to note is that you want to exercise at least 3 hours before you go to bed. Because exercise raises your core body temperature, you will have a difficult time falling asleep if you exercise too close to bedtime.
Avoid caffeine 5 hours prior to sleep: This tip might seem obvious, but here's a fact you might have not known: Did you know that the half-life of caffeine is roughly 5 hours? This means for an average person who drinks a cup of coffee which has about 100 mg of caffeine, after 5 hours, the body still retains 50 mg of caffeine in the system! This is why it is good to keep away from caffeinated drinks after lunchtime.
Avoid nicotine and alcohol prior to sleep:
Nicotine: Just as with caffeine, nicotine and alcohol also disrupt sleep, so you will want to avoid it right before bedtime. Nicotine may seem like a depressant that helps you calm you down, it is actually a stimulant and isn't helpful when you're looking to go to sleep. Alcohol: Although alcohol isn't a stimulant, when alcohol is present in your system, the quality of sleep you get is disrupted and is works against sleep rather than improving it.
Bed is for sleep and sex: Associating your bed with sleep helps you get to sleep when the time comes. Train yourself to associate your bed as a place for sleep by only doing 2 things when in bed. Sleep and sex. If you eat in bed, study in bed, and other things, you end up unconsciously associating your bed as a place for activity instead of sleeping.
Maintain a regular sleep schedule: This is another obvious point, but is ignored by many who want to improve their sleep and wake up schedule. In the beginning, you'll want to pencil in your sleep schedule on a calendar to remind you to get to bed at a certain time. The more regular your sleep schedule, the easier it is on yourself.
Don't eat a heavy meal before bedtime: It might be tempting to have a second dinner before bed to satisfy that craving, eating a heavy meal before bed makes it difficult for you to fall asleep. It is recommended that you have at least 2-3 hours before a meal and bedtime. This allows your body a head start in food digestion and by the time you go to bed, you'll be a lot more comfortable. If you're too hungry to go to bed, try drinking some water and eat a light snack that doesn't contain too much sugar or fat.