No workout or exercise programme will yield maximum results if you do not get enough sleep. Many studies reveal that your muscles grow when you sleep and rest. Sleeping needs vary from person to person, but the ideal number of hours is from seven to eight.
As religious as some people are in practicing proper training techniques and eating habits, they have trouble getting in a good night’s rest. This may be attributed to psychological factors that stem from numerous personal and professional concerns they have. In some cases, the factors are physical in nature as they may have a nagging disease or illness.
Whatever the case may be, you need not grapple with sleepless nights. Here are some tips to help you get the well-deserved rest that you need:
After you determine the number of hours, you should get in sync with your body’s regular sleep cycle. This is done by sleeping and waking up at consistent hours daily. You will feel much more refreshed compared to getting in the same number of hours put in at slightly different time intervals.
2. Be smart about napping—again, the key here is knowing who you are when it comes to your sleeping habits. If the day’s activities are getting the better of you and you know you’ll have no trouble sleeping at a night, then by all means take a 15-20 minute lunch break nap. However, if you know for sure that napping during the day will keep you up at night, then opt to hold off until you retire in the evening.
3. Leave your physical and mental work in the office—bringing work home on a habitual basis not only robs you of precious time with your family, it also sets off a vicious cycle. This may lead you to think about work more. Thinking about work more leads to stress. Stress leads to sleepless nights. Work smart and hard for eight hours and then leave your mental work where it belongs—in the office. After all, your family needs all of you when you get home, right?
4. Focus on your breathing—people make the mistake of making their beds their think tanks. Your bed wasn’t meant for that. Make an effort to make you mind sharp not just by thinking positive thoughts but by also ridding it of unnecessary mental clutter before sleeping. Instead, focus on your breathing. Before you know it, you’ll be out like a light.
5. Avoid thinking thoughts about sleeping during the day—this applies to people who have experienced sleepless nights before. What sleepless nights do is instil fear among people who have gone through it before. They are so afraid of the experience that they think about it during the day. Again, this leads to stress which consequently leads to insomnia. The key here is to reject any thought you may have about sleeping, regardless of the time of day it hits. If you are mentally sharp in the fitness centre, then you should also be just as sharp when it comes to other important things.
6. Do something relaxing before retiring—if all else fails, engage in a relaxing hobby such as reading an interesting book or listening to music. Drinking depressants such as a warm cup of milk can soothe you. You can also take a warm shower. Avoid reading newspaper headlines or watching television programmes that may cause you to think too much.
7. Find a job you enjoy—if your job causes you unnecessary mental anguish, then it may be time to bail out. No salary is worth it if you have to suffer through bouts of insomnia. Find a job you enjoy, and watch your stress levels disappear. Granted, no job is without any form of stress, but the more you like what you’re doing, the more your stress levels will go down. The more your stress levels dissipate, the better you’ll sleep at night.
8. Eat and drink sensibly—too much fatty food right before going to bed make your stomach work more and this may keep you up. Another culprit is drinking too much liquid before retiring. This leads to more midnight trips to the bathroom.
9. Include physical activity in your daily routine—regular physical activity can help promote better sleep, helping you fall asleep faster and deeper. Try to avoid engaging in vigorous exercise right before bedtime as you might be too energized to fall asleep.
You may have encountered difficulty sleeping at one point or another. However, that shouldn’t stop you from conquering new mountains in your professional and personal life. Bottom line is to have the problem nipped in the bud at the soonest possible time. If it’s a physical concern, contact your doctor immediately and make the necessary lifestyle changes. If it’s more of a mental concern, manage your stress levels accordingly. Before you know it, you’ll sleep as soundly as you did when you were a baby.