Sleep your Way to Success - 5 tips to improved sleep and better performance

May 8, 2016

 

For some reason unbeknownst to me, my eyes have been opening on their own every morning at 6AM sharp.  I’m not sure if the neighbors are pulling a cruel prank or my body is trying to tell me something.  Interestingly enough I’ve also been reading a lot about traits of successful people and ironically, getting out of bed early is a consistent habit among most go-getters. The early morning is a time with few distractions, time to get in needed exercise and plan out your day.  If you’re really trying to get ahead but skipping the above steps you’re going to find yourself out of shape, tired and overworked.  If you’re not an early bird but you’d like to start catching the worm, try these steps for improved sleep patterns and watch your work/life performance skyrocket.

 

Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine

Alcohol right before bed and any caffeine consumed within a few hours of lights out simply disrupts your sleep.  Limit your alcohol intake to a glass of wine with dinner and you should be fine and try to avoid caffeine after 5PM or earlier if you can.    

 

Time your meals

When we eat our blood sugars increase and digestive system goes into overdrive.  This process causes hormonal shifts and lying down right after you eat can also cause heartburn for some.  If you’d like a good night sleep try and eat at least a few hours before you go to bed.  Your body will thank you for it. 

 

Sleep Hygiene

Have you ever noticed that you sleep really well in high-end hotels?  That’s because they have blackout curtain, great mattresses and the rooms stay cool. Do your best to replicate the above and invest in a good mattress, luxury sheets and darken your room.  Room temperatures of 70 degrees or below also tend to improve sleep cycles. 

 

Turn off the Tech

Yes, I know it’s difficult but our phones and televisions don’t do our brains any good in regards to helping it shut down.  Make it a priority to turn off all technology at least an hour before bed. 

 

If you Snooze you Lose

Saying no to the snooze button is the most difficult thing of all yet it could be one of the most important strategies for staying energized.  When we wake up on our own we generally find ourselves exiting a deep sleep pattern, which is the best thing for us.  Hitting the snooze button allows us to doze off again potentially sending us back into a deep sleep.  If you do you’ll find yourself even groggier than before and this of course takes awhile to shake off.    The take away here is to train yourself to get up as soon as you wake up. 

 

Integrate the above steps and try it on for a couple of weeks and then commit to it.  With consistency and training you’ll soon find yourself in sleep heaven and pushing through each day with more fervor and energy. 

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JULIAN J. VARELA, LMFT

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