Whether you are looking to stabilize your health, improve your athletic performance or recover from an injury or illness, sleep is essential. Lifting huge weights, running endless cardio and downing countless pills means very little if your body can’t properly rest itself, says the National Sleep Foundation.
As you sleep, your body heals and rebuilds itself. Many of these natural functions can only occur during sleep. The effect occurs in the mind as well as in the body – health, fitness and recovery is mental as well as physical. A lack of sleep means confusion, lower performance, fatigue, depression, forgetfulness, and moodiness.
If you are serious about changing a less than perfect sleep pattern, then you need the perfect mattress to go along with the other changes you will make. Let’s take a look at how a few small changes can make a big difference in your sleep habits.
Prepare for Sleep
You have a routine in the morning that wakes you up on the right foot. [“Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee!”] Why then would you expect that you can just fall asleep without a routine? If you are experiencing sleep problems, experiment with a nighttime routine. Take a warm bath. Exercise. Read a book. Doctors are in agreement about the following: 1. Remove or turn off all digital devices in the room. 2. Do not eat right before bedtime; the digestive system will keep you up. 3. Do not go to bed stressed out. Handle all of your problems before bedtime, and don’t carry any of them over into the next day!
It is especially important to hydrate before bed if you are on a new exercise or diet routine. Any big changes in your daytime habits will dehydrate you. The body needs water more than anything to activate its healing processes. It is much better to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom than it is to wake up uncomfortable. By the way, stick to water. Drinking caffeine, alcohol or sugar drinks is not hydrating!
Get the Right Mattress
If your body is experiencing physical discomfort while asleep, you will not wake up a happy person. If the mattress is really bad, you may wake up in the middle of the night with aches, pains and strains, and you won’t know where they came from! The right mattress (check out this guide) may take a bit of experimentation (some people need hard, some soft), but there are some mattress tiers that are just better than others in every category. Invest in a brand with a proven history of knocking people out.
A comfortable ergonomic pillow is also important. Especially if you have shoulder pain after training. Check these reviews if you need a pillow for shoulder pain.
The tips above should help to improve your everyday sleep patterns. If you are experiencing extreme discomfort or a noticeable change in your daytime durability, you may want to see a doctor specializing in sleep apnea. This is especially important to consider if you do not have anyone to watch you while you sleep.
Run all of these tips by a trusted medical professional even if you don’t need a full out program. Your doctor has seen more of this than you. Tweaking your program once you have dedicated yourself to better nighttime habits will yield great results!