Are you ready to learn how to sleep better and improve your sleep quality considerably?
Sleep plays a major role in our lives: it not only affects our mood and behaviors, but it also is vital for our survival.
In fact, it can even go as far as to decrease your lifespan. Yes, you’ve read it right. It’s not magic and has nothing to do with a deal offered by a god of death in exchange for half your lifespan. This is science, and the most accurate biological markers found to this day that measure this phenomenon are called telomeres.
It has been proven that certain lifestyle practices (such as sleep deprivation) can either slow down or accelerate the loss of your telomere length.
Therefore, sleep is more than crucial in our lives, whether it be for the psychological, or physical aspect. Usain Bolt said it best: ”Sleep is extremely important to me – I need to rest and recover in order for the training I do to be absorbed by my body.” He’s not the fastest man in history for nothing.
SLEEPING LONGER IS A MYTH
Most people believe that sleeping 8 hours is enough for your body to fully recover, but it’s rather inaccurate. After all, didn’t you ever experience a time in which you slept 8 hours or longer, and yet still was feeling sleepy?
I did, and even sleeping 12 or 13 hours didn’t change anything.
What is really important is not how long you sleep, but if you are getting quality sleep.
Of course, to a certain extent, it is primordial for you to get between 7 to 8 hours each night in order for you to feel ready to take on the day. 2 hours of quality sleep each night will never have positive effects on your body and overall mood. You must find the right balance. However, this is only one of the two requirements to spend a good night.
Sleeping better is a field of study on its own as there are many ways to improve your sleep.
LIFT SOME WEIGHTS!
When it comes to improving your sleep quality, there are tons of strategies and ressources you could use to manage to do that. I have my fair shair of tips I could share with you, but for the sake of keeping this article short and to the point, I’ll dedicate other articles on the subject.
From everything that I learned, the easiest and most efficient technique you can apply right now and get immediate results from, in my opinion, would be the most obvious one: excersising.
Although this doesn’t seem attractive at first, it has been proven that exercising can considerably improve your overall sleep quality. However, just like ‘sleep longer’ is not enough, ‘just exercise!’ is not an accurate advice either. All thanks to studies, we now have precise information regarding when and how much one should exercise to sleep better.
In fact, a recent study conducted at Appalachian State University found that the most appropriate time to work out in order to sleep better is the morning. Researchers created three different groups in which each group was assigned a specific time to work out: the first group had to exercise at 7:00am, the other one at 1:00pm and the last one at 7:00pm.
They found that people who exercised at 7 in the morning not only slept longer, but had an astonishing increase of up to 75% of deep sleep. (Deep sleep being the most restorative and rejuvenating sleep stage of a sleep cycle.)
On the other hand, working out too late raises your core body temperature which might disturb a little bit of your sleep, as it usually takes 4 to 6 hours for your body to cool down after a workout.
To sum it up, working out early in the morning is the way to go to spend a much better night.
Remember how I talked about the telomere and its length early on? Well, studies have shown that people who did about 100 minutes a week of exercise had telemores that on average looked like those of someone about 5 or 6 years younger. Sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it?
HEAVY AND LIGHT
As I said, it’s not just about ‘exercising hard’ or ‘working hard’. You need to work smart. It would be legitimate to ask yourself if you should work out using heavy weights or on the contrary, light weights.
I guess both would work. However, to get the best hormonal response from your body, you need to lift heavy weights. Lifting heavy weights elevates levels of anabolic hormones which will enable you to have a much better sleep.
It doesn’t mean that lifting light weights won’t help you sleep better, it will. Nonetheless, I would recommend lifting heavy weights for the sake of getting the best results possible.
Be aware that lifting heavy weights doesn’t neccessarily mean lifting weights that your body cannot handle. The purpose of this exercise is to lift weights that will challenge your body, not break it. Hence, if the maximum you can handle is 20 pounds then stick to it instead of trying to lift weights way too heavy for you.
Studies have shown that patients diagnosed with primary insomnia had a much better sleep quality after consistenly working out.
The keyword here is ‘consistent’. Doing once is not enough. I suggest that you incorporate exercising in your morning routine so that it becomes a part of you.
Once you will integrate this practice into your daily life, I can guarantee you that you will see the benefits I’m talking about. Remember that’s it’s never only about working hard, it’s also about working smart!
Don’t try to use too many different techniques to sleep better at once, just slowly make adjustments to your life until you get the perfect sleep you deserve!