5 Ways Sleep Can Make You Amazing
Sleep is this remarkable, restorative thing that beckons to us every day and can make you amazing. It says, “let’s go snuggle down into your comfy bed, and I will fill your mind with dreams that wisp you away as I repair your mind and body, so you’re ready for tomorrow.” As you hear its call, you also hear the call of our 24/7 technology-powered world calling to you. It’s tempting and easy to give in to the pull of this always on, distraction-filled world that we live in. But, it’s important to remember that while it is filled with opportunities to be entertained, work, and virtually engage with others, it was also designed to create a fear of missing out in each of us that beckons us to forego sleep in favor of it. It’s a cunning strategy. Without quality sleep, our defenses against its pull are lowered. Sleep is the powerful force that enables us to decide what deserves our attention, helps us keep our anxiety in check, strengthens our memory, helps us stay physically healthy, and so much more.
Here are the top five ways sleep can make you amazing:
- A single night of sleep can more than double our ability to come up with novel solutions to difficult problems.
- Quality sleep makes us better people by improving our mood, memory, attention span, ability to be empathic, and patience.
- Quality sleep can maximize your athletic performance – it improves your sleep, accuracy, mental acuity, reaction time, and recovery time.
- Sleep makes you beautiful inside and out by giving you bright eyes and radiant, firm skin, helping you maintain a healthy weight, enabling you to connect with others, show your kindness, and be confident.
- Plus, people who get quality sleep also enjoy more sex. Polls show 50% of us are just too tired. Nap anyone?
Ready to be amazing? Get on the path to quality sleep with these tips.
- Put away your electronics
- Get ready for the next day
- Read a book to relax
- Turn down the thermostat to create a cool room for sleep
- Wash your face and remove your makeup
- Brush and floss your teeth
- Write down what you’re grateful for
- Do some gentle stretches
- Get in bed
- Listen to pink or white noise
Here are some tips to help you fall asleep fast and stay asleep:
Foods that will help you sleep
Feeling hungry? Or perhaps you’re just looking for a natural sleep aid? These foods support melatonin production to help you feel drowsy and fall asleep.
- Foods that are high in tryptophan include protein-based foods like nuts, seeds, tofu, cheese, red meat, chicken, turkey, fish, oats, beans, lentils, and eggs.
- Foods that are high in melatonin include Rainier cherries, wheat, barley, oats, walnuts, strawberries, tart cherries, tomatoes, almonds, sunflower and other seeds, eggs, fish, pistachios, bananas, pineapples, and red wine.
Everyday strategies to get you ready for quality sleep
- Maintain a consistent daily sleep/wake schedule
- Plan your day to ensure you can get to bed and wake up on schedule
- Exercise 20+ minutes during the day
- Eliminate stimulants/caffeine after 4 pm
- Limit consuming alcoholic drinks to 1-2 and stop at least 3 hours before bed
- Eat a smaller evening meal that isn’t too heavy or fatty
- Limit beverage consumption 1 hour before bed
- Invest in a comfortable mattress, pillow, and bedding
- Install warm lights in your bedroom to limit blue light exposure
- Create a dark environment using room-darkening shades, blinds, or curtains
- Minimize blue light exposure by turning off your computer, tablet, phone or television 1-2 hours before bed
- Take a warm bath 30 minutes before bed
- De-stress and calm your senses using yoga, meditation, sex, or aromatherapy
Lay in bed with your eyes closed and try as hard as you can to stay awake. The next thing you’ll know, it’s morning. This trick is called “paradoxical intention.” You just tell yourself to do the opposite of what you really want. It works – try it!
While researchers still aren’t exactly sure why we need sleep, we know it’s essential for our health. That means naps can also make you healthier. How awesome is that?
Napping not only restores alertness, but it also enhances work performance and reduces accidents.
Types of naps
- Power nap – 10-20 minutes
- NASA nap – 26 minutes
- Fatigue beater & memory raiser – 60 minutes
- Full sleep cycle nap – 90 minutes
Just don’t nap for 30-40 minutes – it will leave you in a fog due to sleep inertia!