When was the last time you woke up fresh and ready to take on the world? If you’re like most people, you struggle to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, and you’re pretty much useless before at least 2 cups of coffee.
Here’s what you could be doing to get the sleep you need.
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Set A Schedule
Set a schedule that never changes — not even on the weekends. This is the hardest thing to do for most people, especially the under 30 crowd. Most people want to go out and party on the weekend. But, this is part of the problem.
By changing up your sleep schedule, you end up not getting the sleep you need on the weekend, and this carries over to the week where you’re probably already chronically sleep deprived.
Pick a bedtime, like when you were a child. And, stick to it. In about 2 weeks, you’ll be less tired during the day, and more refreshed.
Clean Out Your Bedroom
Your bedroom should serve one, possibly two purposes: sleep (and sex). If you have books, a T.V., and a bunch of other stuff in your bedroom, you have a problem. You need to organize your room so that it’s calming and naturally soothing.
You don’t want to associate your bedroom with activity. If you do, your brain will have a hard time shutting down, and you won’t get to bed at a decent hour.
Get A Better Bed
Get a better bed, if you can afford it. Lull Mattress is option if you have the funds. Basically, you want a bed that cradles you and makes it easier to sleep. The new line of memory foam mattresses are some of the best on the market right now.
Your mattress should be soft enough so that you’re not tossing and turning all night, but firm enough that you have support and a little “bounce.”
Turn Off Electronics
According to Harvard University, blue light emitted from electronics, like tablet computers, smartphones, and T.V.s has a negative effect on sleep. The short-wave, high energy blue light waves shut down, or suppress, melatonin — the hormone responsible for helping us fall asleep.
There are a few ways you can minimize the effect, like getting blue-blocking sunglasses to wear at night if you’re going to watch T.V.
But, if you’re already sleep deprived, the best solution, for at least a week, is to completely turn off all electronic devices and go cold turkey.
Don’t Drink After Noon
Caffeine, that is. People who drink coffee well into the afternoon have a harder time getting to sleep. That’s because coffee is a stimulant, and it helps the body produce cortisol, a stress hormone. This is what “wakes you up.”
But, it also keeps you awake longer than you should be, wrecking your sleep. Stop drinking coffee after noon. Ideally, you won’t be drinking coffee after breakfast.
You could also try switching to tea, like green tea, which gives you a subtle “lift” that you’ll feel throughout the day, without dramatically interfering with your hormone production or cycling throughout the day.
Go Out For A Walk
Get more exercise. If you’re not walking at least 30 minutes a day, you’re not getting enough exercise. Over time, you should ramp up your walking to an hour a day. Realistically, it may not be possible to go on a dedicated walk in the morning, but even 20 minutes before you go to work will help. When you get home, try to get outside for another 30 minutes, and between that and a little walking around at work to and from your vehicle (and even at work), and you’ll have at least an hour’s worth of activity.
Try to move around during the day so you’re not sitting in one spot all the time. Take frequent breaks and get up and move around.
Take A Cooler Shower
There’s something refreshing, and a little bit scary, about taking a cold, or at least cooler, shower. But, if you’re willing to give it a try, two things will happen:
- You’ll wake up, real fast.
- You’ll take shorter showers.
Actually, a third thing will happen too: your heating bill will be lower since you’re not spending as much on your hot water.
Cooler showers get your blood pumping, and they can help you wean off coffee in the morning. That’s not to say you’ll never have a cup, but you won’t need it to survive before 8AM.
Ted Wilson started working in the orthopedic industry in 1982 in Portland, OR and was involved in several health-related initiatives nationwide until 1998, when after a car accident, Ted started to suffer from chronic back pain and focused his attention on people suffering from the same conditions. Among other things, Ted and his team run a successful website, www.mattress-guides.net, independently reviewing beds and mattresses for the public.