When talking about healthy lifestyle, we need to start with basics.
Let’s fix your sleep !
Good sleep improves your brain performance, mood, and health. Not getting enough quality sleep regularly raises the risk of many diseases and disorders. These range from heart disease and stroke to obesity and dementia. Not trying to create “utopia” scenario that there is a formula that will give you a great sleep for every day of your life. You might be working night shifts (if you are do everything you can to get off them), you might be having “on call” duty or simply if you have kids you know that at least for the first couple of years of their lives your sleep will look different nearly every night. But the problem is that even if you do not fall into these categories you’re probably not getting quality sleep we all deserve. Bad sleep is another epidemic of our generation. But why is that ?
I never try to take credit for other peoples work, therefore I present you this incredible book which is a must read for every human being, called Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker PhD. It will give you all the answers regarding fixing your sleep, it talks about sleeping disorders, about how do caffeine and alcohol affect sleep, why do our sleep patterns change across a lifetime, how do common sleep aids affect us and can they do long-term damage and more. This book’s information is absolutely crucial for your road to healthy lifestyle. It creates an important baseline for healthy life as does the book Breath I mention in “STOP breathing through your mouth” article.
Quick summary of things I follow for getting as good sleep as I can:
- don’t drink coffee in the afternoon hours – caffeine effect can last up to 8 hours and it will create problems when trying to fall asleep
- don’t exercise in the late evening hours
- if possilbe try to wake up every day at the same time and go sleep at the same time regurarly
- one surprising for alcohol lovers, drinking in the evening hours will disrupt your REM sleep, but that does not mean you should drink in the morning 🙂
- put phone away long before going to bed, “blue light” that it produces disrupts your sleep, the same comes with using LED lights, that’s why I have in my living room installed old school light bulbs (not LED !) and we use only them in the evening hours in our home
- if you must use PC/phone/tablet a lot have a blue light filter on and talking from my personal experience I use it always as it fixed eye soreness I used to feel in the past when working on PC
- before going to bed try doing only relaxing activites, breathing exercises, yin yoga, read a book (playing computer games and watching SHITflix does not count as relaxing)
- sleep in dark “chilly” room, meaning about 18 °C = 64.4°F
- I have a habit of opening window for a longer period of time and getting fresh air to my room before going to bed
- I mention this in other articles as well, but you need to spend time in the sun, this affects our circadian rhythm and lack of sun exposure will disrupt your sleep as well, that’s why I said in the beginning of this article to get off your night shifts (I used to work them and they fucked me up so badly that it took me years to fix my sleep). The light you are exposed to during the day helps your body figure out when it’s time to go to bed (and when it’s time to wake up)
- avoid taking pills that disrupt sleep (there are lists online), not even talking about taking pills that “will help” you fall asleep, there is a section of the book that talks about this new bad phenomenon of our generation and what bad consequences it will have for you
- if you’re used to taking a nap during the day, it should be done only until 3 pm in the afternoon
- do not eat heavy meals (take long time to get digested) in the evening or at least right before you’re going to bed
Disclaimer: Author talks about his experience only, this web site is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute providing medical advice or professional services. The information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, and those seeking personal medical advice should consult with a licensed physician.