Rest Better with Good Sleep Hygiene

Good sleep hygiene might not be something you’ve considered before, but it is just as important as having a nightly dental hygiene routine. In regards to sleep, our society glorifies those that push our bodies to the limit. The notion of “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” falsely leads us to believe that going through our day a little groggy is what it takes to be successful. People! You can’t always rely on coffee to get us going!

Here are two easy concepts to help improve our nightly slumber:1. Timing  – “Give yourself a CONSISTENT Bed Time”

We all know it takes consistent stress (exercise) to get muscles to build, it’s not something that happens after only one day. The same goes for building effective sleeping habits. You need to give yourself a routine in order to “sync” up your body’s internal clock – (circadian rhythm).

Consider the effects on your body of traveling across time zones. Even though your phone’s clock can be immediately updated, your body’s internal clock will still be set to your home time zone. It usually takes a few days before you are adjusted to your new surroundings. Setting a consistent bedtime takes a little sacrifice initially, but this is step one to getting better rest.

2. Duration – “Give yourself a CHANCE to get 7-8 hours”

Now, are you at least giving yourself the opportunity to get enough sleep? We all know 7-8 hours is the gold standard, but simple math would indicate most of us are cutting ourselves short. To get a full 8 hours, with my alarm set to rise at 5 AM, then I need to be ASLEEP by no later than 9 PM. Calculate your needed bed time and make it a priority this week to hit the sack. It might feel tough at first, but your quality of sleep will improve.

Try to use the Bedtime feature for iOS (sorry android users…). Check out the video above for a short guide on how I set up my sleep routine.

Wake Up with the Sun
I’m a pretty hard sleeper… because of this I’ve always had to set super loud, very abrasive alarms to make sure I actually get up… That was until I got a sunrise alarm clock.

Waking up abruptly can trigger a “fight or flight” stress response increasing your blood pressure and heart rate. This is not a great way to start your day…

The solution suggested, is to try gradually waking up to natural light, but unfortunately many of our schedules require us to be fully functional before the sun rises. Enter the sunrise alarm clock. This clock gradually increases its light leading up to your set alarm time, allowing you to more naturally wake up vs jolting yourself up every morning. I use a combination of this clock and the bedtime app on my iPhone during the week and try to let myself naturally wake up (sorry to all the parents…) on the weekend.

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