Sleep – Matt

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Fun fact, most humans on average need 7 or more hours of sleep to recover and function at their full potential and/or capacity each day, but let’s be honest with ourselves, is there really enough time in the day to accomplish everything and sleep the right amount of hours?? The answer is Yes! I am going to offer you guys my tips on how I have improved my sleep as well as some of the tricks I have used to help get to sleep. 

     So the first tip that I have been doing is watching the times that I eat, along with what I eat. Now some of you might be saying Matt that’s Crazy, eating right before bed makes no difference at all. I have found that if I completely stop eating as well as drinking up to 4 hours before bed then I sleep better, because I am not getting heartburn, I don’t feel bloated to the point where it hurts and lastly I am not up every hour having to use the restroom, which in turn affects the quality of sleep that I may get. Now another aspect to this is watching how much and what types of food you are eating for dinner. Now I eat my heavier meals for breakfast, lunch and then dinner is usually a lighter healthier meal that is easy on the digestion. 

      Tip # 2 is Cutting out the consumption of caffeine after 4 pm. Now I will admit that for me personally this one is the hardest – I love my coffee as well as my Mountain Dew. Whether we may realize it or not it, actually keeps us awake and lingers in our systems longer than we think it does. I usually try to cut myself off around 4pm everyday as I am in bed by 9:30PM most nights. Another aspect that goes along with this is making sure that you drink plenty of water. It is important to stay hydrated and the water helps to cleanse your organs and assist in flushing out toxins. Now I drink 1 Gallon of water combined throughout my day, and that has seemed to work the best for me. Some of you may need less depending on your diets and lifestyles.

     Tip # 3 Exercise, I know this one is going to be generic, but it’s true. Now I will be the first to admit I am terrible at keeping up with what most would call a healthy workout schedule, but let me tell you since I started doing 30 wall pushups, 30 medicine ball squats and a few dumbbell exercises before bed, it has made the world of a difference. It is for two simple reasons, an those are that it calms my mind and helps it to stop racing. The second part of that is I physically feel exhausted from just having exerted myself. When we sleep we do burn calories and by doing that exercise right before bed it can help to boost that process, or so i have learned. Now keep in mind I am no Doctor this is just what has worked for me and helped me see better results. Everything will differ from person to person. 

     Tip # 4 Now this one is probably going to be the difficult part for everyone especially in this day in age when we are all constantly using one form of technology or another (whether that be a cell phone, laptop or even a tablet just to name a few). Now Because short-wavelength, high energy blue light scatters more easily than other visible light, it is not as easily focused. When you’re looking at computer screens and other digital devices that emit significant amounts of blue light, this unfocused visual “noise” reduces contrast and can contribute to digital eye strain. So in layman’s terms, too much blue light from devices can cause you to stay awake longer. I have personally found that by getting off all of my devices an hour before bed and just laying in the dark helps me to get myself acclimated to the dark and let my eyes know to pipe down because it’s time for rest. But do whatever amount of time works best for you, as I understand we all work different hours and lead completely different lives.

      Lastly Tip # 5 is Meditation and controlled counting. I bet you all are asking yourselves what is controlled counting? It is basically a count down process with deep breathing exercises woven in. For example i usually count backwards from 100-0 and after I count each number, I will take a deep breath in, hold it for 3 seconds, Exhale and move on too the next number. Most nights I rarely get to 0 because I am asleep. You can feel it working as you go on, getting closer to 0, you literally feel your eyes getting heavier and feel yourself getting ready to fall asleep. I learned this technique from my therapist about 2 years ago. Now some nights my sleep is interrupted by my nightmares, but on nights that it’s not, man let me tell you that I get at least 5-6 hours of great refreshing sleep in a row. 

So those are the 5 tips that I have to help get better sleep. These few practices have been working wonders for me for years now and I felt like I would share them with all of you great readers in hopes that maybe one of them will help in some way!

Drop me a comment below with what things you do to help you prepare for bed, or your routines that have been helping you! I would love to hear from all of you to see what you are doing to get better sleep.  I hope you all are doing well and until the next time be safe and take care of yourselves. 

    -Matthew-

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