How to Improve Sleep for Better Recovery

Quality sleep every night is vital for healthy bodily function. We all know this, yet the majority of us still find ways to stay up later instead of finding ways to get in bed earlier.

Recovery occurs when you sleep. You need sleep to reach whatever fitness goals you have, whether it’s losing fat or getting stronger. You also need it to not be a brain-dead zombie every day.

To combat the sleep deprived world that we live in, I’ve compiled four tips to improve your sleep for better recovery.

1. Don’t Use Electronics Before Bed

Technology increases cognitive stimulation. It “revs up” your brain and can make your body tense from stress. Increasing activity like this is the exact opposite of what you want before getting in bed.

The glow of electronic displays can also be a problem as they delay the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. Be sure to turn off TVs, laptops, and cell phones to get rid of any electronic glow. Believe it or not, you don’t need to check social media for the 100th time right before bed.

2. Improve Your Sleep Environment

Darkness, temperature, noise, and the mattress you sleep on can all affect your sleep.

Turning off electronics is a good way to form a dark sleep environment, but what if there are other light sources that are bugging you? Turning off your phone won’t help if you live next to Clark Griswold around Christmas time. You may want to invest in window shades that block out unwanted light.

griswold

We’ve all had a time where we were either too hot or too cold to sleep, so we know the importance of setting the right temperature. Research shows that the ideal temperature is typically between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Find what’s comfortable for you.

Some like having white noise in the background when they sleep. This can be from something like a fan or a specific white noise machine.

Sleeping on a good mattress can also improve sleep. Quality sleep is about being comfortable, and it can be hard to get comfortable on a run-down mattress.

3. Establish a Wind Down Routine

Establishing a wind down routine is a great way to learn to relax before bed. It can be 10 minutes, 30, or even an hour. Whatever it takes for you to turn down for the night. For some it may be reading a book and for others it may be listening to relaxing music. Find what works for you and stick to it.

4. Sleep Aids

No, I’m not suggesting that you down some Nyquil before bed every night.

However, if you feel like you’ve done everything above and still need help, you may want to give chamomile tea and/or a melatonin supplement a try. They may not work for everyone but they can be worth trying out.  

I hope these tips help improve your sleep as sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems. Your body needs sleep like it needs exercise to perform at its best. Implement these tips and hit the sheets early tonight and you can start feeling better tomorrow morning.