The average adult requires between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night in order to function properly throughout the following day. When you do not get adequate sleep it is impossible to be at peak performance. Following are some great tips on how to beat the wide-eye feeling and fall asleep faster.
Participating in regular exercise is well known to improve sleep quality. You should get the heart pumping at least 3-4 times per week for between 30-45 minutes by participating in running, bicycling, aerobics classes, or high intensity weight training. Make sure to save your intense workouts for the morning or afternoon hours because performing aerobic exercises within 4 hours before bed can keep you from dozing.
Eat “Sleep” Foods
Just as some foods help with burning fat or raising HGHs (human growth hormones), others can make you sleepy. The bedtime snack you want to devour is a combination of protein and carbohydrates. Protein helps your body produce the amino acid tryptophan. Carbs help your brain to use the tryptophan, converting it into drowsiness. About 30 minutes before turning in, munch on some whole wheat toast and low-fat cheese or peanut butter spread. A casein protein shake with some milk is also a great alternative.
Cut Off the Caffeine
The suggested time to stop drinking coffee, sodas and other caffeinated products is 2 p.m. The reason is that caffeine can stimulate your system for up to 8 hours. Of course, stimulants have a way of counteracting the effects of sleep, so give up the afternoon coffee when you get groggy and take a walk instead.
Stress creates worry and worried minds don’t want to shut off. According to research, one of the best ways to de-stress before bed is to soak in a hot bath. Time in the tub helps to relax the mind and raise your body temperature. Then, when you shed the suds, your mind is quiet and the cooling down of your core temperature causes the brain to release the sleepy hormone of melatonin. To increase the calming atmosphere and effects, light lavender candles or add lavender oil to the water.
Another way to sleep faster is to keep your bedroom cool. A cool room lowers your core body temperature which initiates sleep. The comfort zone for sleeping varies among people, but cooler is better when it comes to sleeping soundly (try 65ºF and adjust from there).
Both going to bed and getting up in the morning at the same time will help you sleep faster and better. Get yourself on a schedule to train your body to sleep with consistency. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, especially during the week. If something should pop up to interrupt your schedule, don’t fret. Simply make up for the loss of sleep by sleeping in on the weekend, and then get right back on schedule. Sleeping patterns can be associated with muscle memory. Repeat sleep during the same hours enough times and you won’t have to consciously tell yourself to go to bed. Your body’s internal clock will just know when it is time to sleep.