For all the financial wealth and material abundance available to the masses today, certain other, more essential human needs remain scare. One of the most conspicuous among these is restful sleep. Sleeping may seem like the easiest thing in the world at first glance, yet for many people it proves elusive when bed time arrives each night. In a sense, poor sleep might even feel like an epidemic across the country.
In the busy, capitalistic society in which we live, there is a necessary emphasis on production and work. Thus, it may be tempting to overwork in the pursuit of greater production. However, there is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to work because sleeping brings energy and rest, which are needed for optimal efficiency in production. The same concept is true when comes to health and fitness. Exercise has a big impact on sleeping and sleeping has an enormous impact on exercise. A well-rested body can work out harder and longer.
Tips for falling asleep are bountiful these, but not always practical or insightful. Maybe they’re abstract or given by an uncredentialled, so-called “sleeping guru,” and therefore hard to trust.
Here with some truly helpful and simple sleep tips is Nikki Metzger, a wellness expert and Nike trainer who was named Women’s Health Next Fitness Star back in 2015. She founded BODI, High Intensity Strength & Conditioning gym in Scottsdale Arizona.
If you still have a tough time falling asleep after exhausting your body, there are a few things you can do to quiet your mind.”
“Try sticking to a set [sleeping] schedule, even on weekends,” Nikki says. Going to bed at the same time every night is crucial for establishing a consistent bedtime when your body will actually fall asleep. Creating a bedtime routine will help your body and mind wind down. Your body clock can get thrown off with a break from a sleeping routine, and no sleeping routine at all is largely unsustainable for most people with full-time jobs.
Hitting snooze on the alarm clock is always tempting, but it can hurt your sleep schedule if it gets out of hand. Similarly, daytime naps might be necessary to get through the day for those battling insomnia, but taking a nap can also disrupt your body clock and bedtime once established.
Caffeine is another big factor in getting a good night of rest. “Skip caffeine late in the day,” Nikki says. A cup of coffee in the morning won’t keep you up at night, but espresso after dinner might.
Technology can get in the way too sometimes. “Silence your smartphone and lower the brightness,” Nikki says. Instead of checking social media or work emails, create a relaxing routine before bedtime that will help your mind stop racing and fall asleep.
Climate control is another smart hack. “Set the thermostat around 65,” Nikki says. “Otherwise it can interfere with your body’s natural temperature decline.”
To recap, here are Nikki’s top 4 sleep tips:
Body Clock & Bedtime: Try sticking to a set schedule
Caffeine Timing: Skip caffeine late in the day
Distraction & Blue Light: Silence your smartphone and lower the brightness
Temperature: Set the thermostat around 65 degrees
Other ideas to consider may include: taking melatonin, enjoying a warm bath, using white noise or earplugs, avoiding bright light after sundown or keeping the bedroom as a place reserved only for sleeping and sex.
Watch Nikki demonstrate the sleep tips in the video below, or check out Nikki’s advice for a whole family workout.