Dr M's Top Five Tips For a Great Sleep
Not Sleeping Well? A modern day epidemic can be found in sleep disorders, disruption, and deprivation. The follow-on effects can be devastating. Consequences can include high blood pressure, heart failure, obesity, stroke, depression and other mood disorders, mental impairment, foetal and childhood growth retardation, increased incidence of accident and injury, partner disturbance, relationship stress, driving impairment, athletic performance degradation, hormone disruption, digestive disorders and so much more.
Factors that can affect sleep patterns and quality range far and wide. Did you know that people have a chronotype? PhD Michael Breus describes how your sleeping pattern affects activities of everyday life with optimal and disadvantageous times for different activities like working out, eating, asking for a raise and more. You can get some insight into your patterns at thepowerofwhenquiz.com.
Sleep expert, Nick Littlehales discusses things like the quality of your bedding and mattress. Sleep architecture plays a role in his coaching as well. A complete sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes. His goal is 35 sleep cycles per week, with a minimum of 30, ideally distributed equally each day.
Health, performance, learning and business personalities like Ben Greenfield, Shawn Stevenson, Tim Ferriss, Kirk Parsley and Jonathon Levi are huge advocates of quality sleep and have multiple resources and strategies that they employ and recommend.
DR MONTGOMERY’S TOP 5 TIPS FOR A GREAT SLEEP
1. Total darkness. The darker your sleep environment (including clocks, phone lights, tv lights, etc…), the better.
2. Exercise daily (not within 3 hours of bed)
3. Avoid (or time) stimulants and depressants. Stimulants such as caffeine affect people differently. Some people are slow caffeine metabolisers and others are faster, so it is best to avoid after 12 noon unless you know which you are. Alcohol disrupts quality sleep even though it might make you fall asleep faster.
4. No media for 1 or more hours before bed. This includes but is not limited to phones, computers, tablets, tv’s… If you can, use some sort of blue light blocking device (glasses, screen covers) or software programs to reduce the impact of the blue light on sleep patterning.
5. Stay cool at night. 20 degrees Celsius (68 deg F) is considered optimal.
Bonus tip: See your Chiropractor on a regular basis to keep your spine aligned and your nervous system firing optimally. Even low-level discomfort can mess up your sleep.
There are many more tips and strategies, and more profound sleep disturbances may require more effort than these 5, but give them a try to see if they make a difference for you.
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