If You Fix One Thing This Year, This Is What You Should Fix

Your Quality of Sleep.

 Have you ever gotten a full night’s sleep, woken up, and still felt like you needed more?

Why is that?

Something that you did the day before probably affected what kind of sleep you were getting. The truth of the matter is 6 hours of good quality sleep is better than 9 hours of low-quality sleep. 

Getting the right amount and quality of sleep is one of the most important things for your health.

When you’re sleeping, your brain is recharging and reloading for the next day. Here are 8 things that you can start doing today that will help you sleep better at night.

1. Sleep at the right temperature:

The ideal sleeping temperature for you is between 65-69 degrees. When you go to bed at night, try to keep  the room within this temperature range.*Pro tip: if you struggle to get out of bed in the morning, set a timer for about 15 minutes before you wake up on your thermostat. This will allow the house to begin to heat up a little and make it easier for you to get up in the morning

2. Workout earlier in the day:

There was a study recently done on workout time and sleep quality. There were 5 measures that they were looking at and the three workout groups were 7 am, 1 pm, 7 pm. The 7 am group scored significantly better on all the measures. The study also found that this morning workout doesn’t need to be crazy long. It can be as simple as 15 burpees in the morning, 40 push-ups, or a 4 minute HIIT session. If you can’t workout first thing in the morning, then doing one of those will help improve your sleep quality.

3. Limit what you do in your bedroom to just sleep and sex:

If your bedroom is currently being used for more than just sleep and sex, then you’re probably tricking your mind. If you read, play, and work in your bedroom, your mind won’t recognize it’s time for bed when you go in there. This may not sound like a huge deal, but when you wind down at the end of the night, you want to walk into your room and immediately start calming down.

4. No caffeine 10 hours before bed:

It takes 10 hours for caffeine to completely clear out of your system. If there is still caffeine in your system, your heart rate will not be able to get as low as it needs to and your sleep will not be as deep.

5. No blue light 90 minutes before bed:

Blue light is like artificial sunlight. It tricks your mind into thinking that it’s still light outside and makes it more difficult for your body to fall and stay asleep. If it’s impossible for you to avoid blue light, you can either get blue blockers (glasses that block blue light) or most devices nowadays have a setting where you can turn off blue light after a certain time of day.

6. No food 3 hours before bed:

Growing up, I always used to hear, “If you eat close to bedtime, you’re going to get fat.” When I was trying to put on weight in high school, people were telling me I have to eat before bed to put on muscle. The truth of the matter is you shouldn’t eat 3 hours before bed, thought it has nothing to do with getting fat. Think of your digestive system as a complex machine. Once the machine starts, it takes about three hours for it to completely finish its job. If you throw something into a machine and leave, that machine is still going to be working and using electricity until it’s done. This will happen even if you turn the lights off or leave the factory. The same is true with your body. If you eat too close to bedtime, your machine is still working. This forces your heart rate to stay high because it needs to make sure there is enough blood flow going through the digestive tract. In turn, your sleep will be affected, since your body is preoccupied with digesting, rather than entering fully into the mode of rest and deep sleep.

7. Get sun exposure for at least 15-20 minutes first thing in the morning:

Getting sun exposure first thing in the morning lets your body know that it’s time to be up and moving. Even being outside on a cloudy day will give you about 5-10x more sunlight expose than lights inside. 

8. Do something to wind down before bed:

Before bed, it is important to make sure that you’re doing certain things to slow your heart rate down, clear your head, and prepare for bed. Anything from hot showers, a nighttime stroll, writing everything you need to do the next day, drinking caffeine-free tea, or reading. When you’re starting out, try to keep whatever you do consistent. After a while, just starting this task will let your body know it’s time for bed.

The one thing that you can do this year to improve your overall quality of life is getting more sleep and getting better sleep. If you do nothing else this year, but improve your sleep quality, then you will see improvements in your life.