A good night’s sleep is a must for a productive next day. Not to mention that your body recovers from the intense training while you sleep, using the nutrients you provided and the anabolic hormones your glands produce.
Normal individuals need seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night in order to maintain healthy body and mind.
Many people, unfortunately, take sleep very lightly, failing to realize how important sleep really is. Going to bed and getting up 8 hours later doesn’t mean you had a restful night. Waking up in the middle of the night, too early, or waking up tired and irritable usually means you didn’t sleep well.
And while insomnia bothers everyone from time to time, a few sleepless nights in a row can really make you irritable, lower your concentration, suppress your immune system or in the worst scenario, when coupled with intense training – it can get you to a complete nervous breakdown.
Several factors can be the cause of your insomnia:
Stress from work, stress from financial or family problems, anxiety, depression and anger are all known as causes of insomnia.
Any kind of physical pain – your head, a tooth, joint pain etc. can cause sleeplessness. Also heartburn, heart problems and many other physical conditions can cause make falling asleep impossible. Consult your doctor if any such conditions exist.
Doing exercise right before going to bed, or close to bedtime is probably not a good idea if you want to have a good night’s sleep. Exercise causes the release of adrenaline in the blood, which elevates your heart rate.
What you eat before bed can really affect how you sleep at night. Substances like caffeine, alcohol and carbohydrates before bed can really interfere with your sleep and make you wake up tired and cranky in the morning.
Too much light, high temperature in the room or a repetitive noise will certainly not help when you are trying to fall asleep. You have to adjust your environment and make it a suitable one for sleeping.
How to get better sleep
Create a routine
Try going to sleep at the same time every night and waking up a the same time every morning. Stick with this routine. After some time your body and mind will learn that at this particular time, they need to shut off and relax.
Get all the electronic devices out of the room
That’s right – no phones, no computers, no TV. It’s time to sleep. All these devices stimulate the brain and have negative effect on your sleep patterns. The same goes for the light – turn the lights off or if you must have some light – keep it low.
No alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes or any kind of energy drinks a few hours before you go to bed.
Stop eating 2-3 hours before bed
Adjust your environment
You room should be well ventilated and the temperature should be lowered before going to bed. If possible, use anatomic pillow and mattress which give support to your head and body.
Last but not least, find something that relaxes you before you go to bed. This can be meditation, taking a bath, listening to music etc. This will help you reduce cortisol levels help you fall asleep and improve quality of life.