While many consider fitness and nutrition to be the most important aspects of health, we tend to forget about sleep! Arguably just as important, if not more important than fitness and nutrition, however, quality sleep contributes to all aspects of health; from athletic performance and recovery to mood, brain function, and mental health.
In contrast, by not accomplishing a restful night’s sleep on a consistent basis, you immediately increase your chances of experiencing negative health consequences; from poor performance, brain fog, hormonal imbalances, irritable mood swings, depression, weight gain, and more.
Unfortunately, with all of that being said, the majority of individuals fail to prioritize sleep. While this could be partially correlated to today’s “hustle culture”, it’s likely due largely to a lack of education on the matter.
That’s why in this article, we’ll be discussing the importance of sleep. More specifically, we’ll outline some important strategies and tactics not only to combat poor sleep but to emphasize quality sleep.
It’s time to begin getting a restful night’s sleep every night. If you’re ready to do the same, continue reading!
How to improve sleep
As mentioned in the preface, there’s no denying the importance of sleep. Not only is it necessary to function in daily life but it’s also strongly correlated to mental & physical health.
While we won’t go into detail with every strategy and tactic for improving sleep, below is a list of helpful tips that you can immediately implement to improve sleep, and thus, improve recovery, performance, mental health, and more.
Top tips for improved sleep:
- Reduce blue light exposure before bed
- Avoid consuming too much caffeine during the day (avoid it altogether before bed)
- Go to bed at a reasonable hour, and at the same time every night
- Wake up at the same time every day
- Set your bedroom temperature optimally at 70 degrees
- Supplement with melatonin (a natural and effective hormone/sleep-aid)
- Schedule downtime to unwind. This is key to a restful sleep!
- Optimize your lifestyle (i.e. exercise regularly, eat healthily, etc.)
- Avoid the following: alcohol, sugar, screen-time, etc.
While these tips certainly don’t encompass all that you can do for better sleep, they’re certainly the most common and effective. By implementing just a few of these every night, your rest and recovery will inevitably improve.
With that being said, there’s more to a good night’s rest than simply laying down, putting our head on the pillow, and closing our eyes. That’s right, we’re talking about sleeping positions.
Choosing the right sleeping position for YOU
Several factors go into choosing the right sleeping position for you. While personal preference and comfort are the two most obvious, other circumstances and scenarios have an impact as well.
In short, the best sleeping position is one that is going to result in the best sleep. In other words, one that is going to allow you to fall asleep the fastest, remain asleep the longest, and of course, be the most comfortable.
Finding a sleeping position may take some trial and error, however, here are a few tips that you can implement right away to ensure a better night’s rest:
- Sleep with a pillow between your legs to relieve lower back pain
- Sleep with a pillow under your armpit to relieve shoulder pain
- Close the blinds shut
- Make your bed in the morning so that it’s made when you go to bed
- Always have clean, cool sheets
- Change the room temperature to something a little cooler
- Eliminate distraction in the bedroom
As you can tell by the tips above, in addition to the sleeping position itself, the sleeping environment is just as important. By simply changing the way that you sleep, you can drastically improve your health, reduce pain and injury, and prevent further damage from happening.
It’s time to catch some zzz’s!
It’s undeniable how important rest and sleep are. In short, sleep is a key to our health, wellness, and overall quality of life. Research continues to show evidence on the matter and it’s becoming impossible to deny.
While there was a lot of information regarding sleep in this article, don’t become overwhelmed or concerned. Simply choose two or three strategies from what was discussed and begin to implement and experiment with them. Soon enough, you’ll be sleeping like a baby, waking up daily to tackle the day with vengeance, and hitting the gym with excitement (we hope to see you there!).
The only thing left to do now? Catch some good quality, restful zzz’s. Sleep well!