In Part I we talked about why it is so important to get enough good quality sleep. In this installment, we’ll talk about how you can go about doing that.
Set up a sleep schedule
We have all heard of the saying get at least 8 hours of sleep in per night. This might be important for some but most don’t need this exact amount to feel fully rested. Some may need more, many can get away with less. It may be more important to be consistent with your sleep habits. The human body craves predictability, and stresses when its daily circadianrhythms are upset. Going to bed and rising at the same times every day is the way to go for effective sleep regularity. Once you have established a regular sleep routine, you can then determine the right amount to sleep time for you, whether it is 5 or 9 hours.
We all like to play catch up on the weekends or the odd time take a quick nap, but this could affect the quality of your future sleep, leaving you no better off. Avoid naps, unless, of course, you are able to establish a consistent daily nap habit. Stick to your schedule every day: no sleeping in even on the weekends and go to bed at the same time every night. In the book “The End of Illness” by Dr.David B Agus, MD he says “The body doesn’t require a magic number of sleep hours. Everyone has a different sleep need. Shifting your sleep habits on the weekends to “catch up” can disrupt a healthy circadian rhythm.”
Have you ever stayed up late on the weekend and slept in the next day only to find that you are not fully rested, even if you’ve slept for 8 hours? This is partly because when you stay awake during the hours in which you regularly go into a deep sleep, then you miss out on those deep sleeping hours that are critical for your sleep recovery. This will throw off your timing and creates more stress to the body. Dr. Agus suggests that some people who get just five hours of sleep per night are likely to achieve the same amount of deep sleep then those who sleep longer.
1. Set a time to be in bed every night
How many times have you rolled over and hit the snooze button only to find yourself rushing out the door and then having an unproductive morning because you are still shaking out the cobwebs? We all know that having a good night sleep can keep us joyful and motivated throughout the day. This might even motivate us to do a workout.
2. Don’t Sleep in
If you are trying to catch up on sleep it is most likely because you feel tried and are sleep deprived. The best way to feel rested is to try to get into a regular routine. This means waking up at the same time every day including weekends. I know this is difficult in the beginning but if you are going to bed at the same time you should wake up feeling rested with out an alarm clock on the weekends, so getting up won’t seem like a chore!
Burke ClelandFitness Trainer, Nutrition Coach, Personal Training Studio in Ottawa
Posted by Burke