No outcome can happen unless you optimize for sleep.I have personally made a significant life style change to sleep better and I should have done it sooner.
I read the following in a closed FB Trends group. (reposting)
A couple of thoughts on sleep for those of you looking to optimize you'r nightly slumber.
For the past six months, I’ve been religiously tracking my sleep each night. Finding a few simple tricks have had a profound effect on my daily performance both in the gym and at work.
If you’re going to shortcut any area of your health (and I strongly recommend you don’t) sleep is not the area to do it.
Cutting your sleep short by a couple hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re missing 75% of your sleep.
You effectively could be depriving yourself of sleep cycles that could reduce the quality (and benefit of your sleep) of your sleep by more than 50%
As I’m sure we all know: Sleep is about both quantity and quality.
So, let me take a moment to share a little of both.
The amount of sleep we need has been a debate for as long as we’ve been sleeping. Many people claim they can (and do) thrive on 6 hours of sleep or fewer per night.
But the reality is that it’s quite rare. Less than 1% of the world can go on less than 7 hours of sleep without feeling the effect.
I get it — a full night’s rest is out of the question sometimes. But next time you consider sacrificing sleep in exchange for another Netflix binge session think about this:
The WHO has classified shift work (i.e. work that interferes with your natural circadian rhythm, therefore, interfering with your sleep) as a known carcinogen.
Sleep is a finicky thing… the most subtle noises have been shown to interfere with sleep whether you awake from it or not.
I’ve slept with a fan for years. But when I started taking my sleep quality seriously, I noticed a huge difference.
A couple of small things I did that made a big difference:
- Stopped drinking caffeine after 11:00 — Caffeine has a half-life of 5 hours and a quarter-life of 12 hours. So, as Dr. Matthew Walker explains, that’s like drinking a ¼ cup of coffee right before your bed hits the pillow.
- Stopped consuming salt 2 hours before bed — Eating a meal high in sodium at dinnertime can contribute to poor sleep, in part due to an increase in blood pressure and fluid retention (think lighter sleep and more frequent waking during sleep).
- Made my room darker — My wife likes to sleep with our bedroom door open in order to hear if one of our kids wakes up in the middle of the night. Our windows have blinds and blackout curtains but still, some light can get through. So, I started sleeping with a sleep mask. I sound like a diva, but this little piece of “sleep tech” revolutionized my sleep. My deep sleep % increased (deep sleep should account for 13-23% of your nightly sleep), and I’m able to fall asleep faster and fall back to sleep after when I wake up. It takes some getting used to (find a mask that’s comfortable), but once you do, you’ll never want to leave home without it.
- Began washing my face again — I haven’t washed my face since I was a teenager battling acne. But washing my face is a simple way to help my body lower its core temp. The human body needs to drop its core temp by 1-2 degrees in order to enter deep sleep.
- Stopped taking sleep aids — Unless you’re elderly or traveling across time zones, sleep aids only disrupt sleep. Even natural, non-habit-forming sleep aids impair your sleep.
Sleep is an amazing thing. There’s a reason Lebron James sleeps 12 hours each night and still takes a nap each day. It isn’t just a pillar of sleep… it’s truly the foundation.
Sleep well, everyone!