Sleep is crucial for recovery from exercise, necessary for many bodily functions to remain optimal, and lack of it is the main cause of poor energy throughout the day as well as many health problems.
Studies have shown that a cooler environment, promotes better quality of sleep. The “magic temperature” seems to be about 70 degrees. Your internal temperature will drop when sleeping, so if your environment is warmer, energy is spent on trying to achieve equilibrium.
Stay away from the light!
No media at least 30 minutes before bed. This is two-fold. TV or checking social media will keep you from falling asleep and lower your quality. It will activate your brain and the blue light emitted from electronic devices signals your brain that it’s time to be awake (more on this in a future post). A total electronics-free period before bed is ideal, but if that doesn’t work with your life then look into blue-light blocking glasses; also apps for your phone and computer to filter out blue light.
Love and peace, man
Get your brain calmed and ready for sleep by reading some nonfiction. Also try journaling or some meditation. Try a “grateful log” or something similar. Five minutes or so of journaling is a great way to end and start the day (more on that in a future post).
Other Random Bits
A study found that in young, healthy men reducing sleep to 5 hours a night resulted in up to a 15% drop in testosterone.
Prebiotics help sleep quality and reduce the effects of stress. REM sleep is improved as well as non-rem sleep after a stressful event. goo.gl/nMLpNL
Diet can help to promote better quality of sleep. Specifically, foods that produce or increase the availability of serotonin, melotonin, and tryptophan. goo.gl/mPSXY8
Longer sleep is associated with better body composition, specifically lower BMI. Shorter sleep periods are associated with “greater adiposity (body fat), lower HDL cholesterol and a tendency to impaired glucose metabolism.” goo.gl/mNMmLD
Higher levels of omega-3 is associated with higher quality of sleep. goo.gl/5QF3Rc
(I have a lot of positive things to say about omega-3, but that will be for another post.)