Working 50 hours a week. Check. Working out a few times a week. Check. Getting a good night's sleep ... ummm. Seriously. You know you need to, but you toss and turn. What if you could get a good night's sleep with just 3 simple rules? Take the challenge to make sleep your number one priority for 7 days. Already dismissing this challenge because you “don’t have time” for Zzzs? If you care about being happier, healthier, faster, stronger and smarter, you will take the 7-day challenge. If you are cutting sleep in the name of being more productive, forget that logic … it doesn’t work in the long run, crabby pants. 7 Short Days. 3 Simple Rules.
- Black out your room: Seriously ... no LED lights from alarm clocks, fire alarms, TVs, or cell phones. Why be neurotic about this? Light can inhibit the secretion of melatonin, the hormone that is your body's natural sleep drug.
- Turn off electronics one hour before bed: Power off electronics so you too can power off. Technology affects our sleep because of cognitive stimulation (aka - keeps our noggin running). As your brain revs up, its electrical activity increases and neurons start to race ... exact opposite of what we need before cashing in the chips.
- Go to bed at the same time: you essentially need to train your body to know when to power down. If you don't have a routine, it confuses your body and will take longer to power down.
- Limit caffeine consumption to 2 cups or less and don't drink after 3pm: caffeine is a stimulant, which means it blocks sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increases adrenaline production. It's hard to calm down when your brain says go!
- Limit or eliminate alcohol: think a nightcap will help you sleep better? Think again! Research has found that you may fall asleep quicker, but alcohol reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. That is the good, deep sleep we need to recharge.