How To Get A Better Sleep

Is this you? Are you having trouble getting a good night’s sleep? Well I feel ya and I’m here to help! In this video I give you 6 tips that have helped me and will hopefully help you get a good night’s sleep. Also stay tuned until the end of the video because I have a challenge for the stressed-out people out there to help you feel a little less frazzled. 

#1 Get the appropriate number of sleep cycles

When we hit the pillow at night and fall asleep, we pass through about 5 sleep cycles, with each cycle lasting around 90 minutes on average. During each cycle, we move through 5 stages of sleep. The first four stages make up our non-REM sleep and the fifth cycle is when REM sleep occurs. REM stands for rapid eye movement and it’s where our eyes will dart back and forth behind our eyelids. This is where the majority of our dreaming happens. It is super important we get enough REM sleep each night because it’s the restorative part of our sleep cycle that stimulates the areas of our brain that are essential in making and retaining memories.

It’s important we get at least 4-5 sleep cycles per night for optimal health. But the key to feeling refreshed each day is to wake up in the beginning stage of your sleep cycle because our bodies aren’t completely shut down yet, so just after REM. If you wake up during REM it’s bad for your cardiovascular health and can increase blood pressure and heart rates. 

There’s a great app called Sleepytime that can help you figure out what time you need to go to bed. You basically put in the time you need to get up by and it will calculate the exact time you need to hit the pillow and allows you around 14 minutes to fall asleep.

If you can get on a regular schedule of going to bed at the same time each night and waking up naturally after your REM cycle, this will be so beneficial in restoring your energy and get rid of mental fatigue.

Sleepytime app on iTunes: https://apple.co/2E8Zdc2
Sleepytime app on Google Play: http://bit.ly/2BLxyZx

#2 Modify your sleep position

We all have our preferred sleep position but if you’re someone who experiences pain in certain areas of your body when you get out of bed in the morning, then you should probably think about modifying how you sleep. 

After years of sitting at a computer and a couple car accidents under my belt, my back is definitely not what it used to be. I can experience some not so pleasant lower back pain when I get out of bed in the morning. Pain can really affect the quality of your sleep and lead to a lighter sleep state and a lot more waking up during the night. 

Little things have helped me like sleeping with a pillow between my legs when I’m in the fetal position or putting a pillow under my abdomen when sleeping on my stomach have helped reduce the strain on my back making it a way better sleep for me and less painful when I wake up. 

I have linked to a great article down below that tells you how to sleep if you have back, neck, hip, sinus or PMS pain:

Sleeping positions to fight pain: http://bit.ly/2rXqmtD

#3 Get Physical

Exercise is so important to getting a more sound and restful sleep. It can increase the time spent in deep sleep or REM which helps to boost the immune system and support cardiac health. The quality of your sleep is increased and even the duration if you work out on a consistent basis. There’s no perfect exercise but there are three in particular that can help you get a better sleep and that’s cardio exercise, strength training and yoga.

Also the time of day is super important as well. Morning workouts are great if you want to experience deeper sleep cycles but for people who aren’t morning people like myself! Afternoon workouts are great too because your body is a couple degrees warmer and less prone to injury. But no late evening or before bed workouts! The boost in body temperature right before bed can interfere with you falling asleep.

#4 Wear computer glasses

We can spend a majority of our time during the day looking at a variety of screens whether it’s your phone or the computer. Wearing computer glasses when you’re looking at these devices, block blue light and can make it easier to sleep. 

Blue light is the primary type of light emitted from these LED-based devices like your computer or phone and suppresses melatonin production which can throw off your circadian rhythms and your ability to fall asleep. So it’s really important that you power down your devices at least an hour before bedtime.

My Prospek computer glasses: http://amzn.to/2EwuJyq

#5 Shower before bed

Taking a warm 15-20 minute shower before bedtime is wonderful in decreasing your body temperature which signals to your body that it’s time to shut down and get ready for bed. It slows down metabolic functions like breathing, digestion, and heart rate.  But make sure you’re done with your shower about an hour before you get into bed so it allows time for your body to dry and cool before sleep. 

#6 No alcohol before bed

Studies show that having alcohol right before bed is the worst thing you can do when you want to get a proper night’s sleep. Alcohol may seem like it’s helping sleep because it helps induce sleep but it’s really disruptive the second half of the night. It can interrupt your circadian rhythm and block REM sleep which we have learned before is crucial to restoring your body. It also can aggravate breathing problems and lead to more trips to the bathroom which affects your natural sleep cycle. Best thing to do is to avoid alcohol 3-4 hours before going to bed. 

 

I didn’t mention stress in this video but it is also a deterrent to sleep. If stress is affecting your shut eye then be sure to check out my video on how to relieve stress.

Down below I have linked to my 21-day stress free challenge that you can start at any time to get you on the right track to a more calm state. Be sure to track your progress on Instagram using the hashtag #jenjamestvstressfree and I can cheer you on!

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