Whether it be the act of falling into a deep slumber or getting out of bed in the morning, many of us struggle with waking up in the morning. How many hours of sleep should you be getting each night? Is there an ideal number? What is the best way to wake up? 'Sleep health' is essential to our overall health and wellbeing. The physical changes you feel with broken and shortened sleep can break your day. Even still, ABC reports sleep as one of our lowest priorities. Why do we neglect something so fundamental to our daily lives? The CDC stresses that anything less than 7 hours increases your risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, frequent mental distress, and all-cause mortality. It also impairs cognitive performance, which can increase the likelihood of motor vehicle and other transportation accidents, industrial accidents, medical errors, and loss of work productivity that could affect the wider community. The National Sleep Foundation also recommends 7 to 8 hours for older adults, and between 7 to 9 for young adults and adults. Apart from the physical and mental changes proper sleep provides you, did you know that a better sleep can provide you with better performance and speedier results as well? Enhanced performance comes from a well-rested sleep, providing you with the energy to carry out your day and give your all in your workouts. Results come from the regenerative, healing properties of rest which is profoundly effective in repairing muscles. So if you're stuck in a sleep rut, how do you mend it? And if waking up is a never-ending battle, how do you make it easier?
How to achieve that perfect sleep:
- Don't oversleep - it can be just as negatively impacting
- Have a warm bath or shower if you feel restless at night
- Avoid stimulants in the afternoon and night (coffee, energy drinks and the like)
- Aerobic exercise can tire you out and you may notice sleep comes faster (lifting weights or performing strenuous exercise at night may have the opposite effect)
- Set up a good environment for sleep with a comfortable temperature minus the television, mobile phone or any disturbing noises
- Sleep at a similar time each night to accustom your body to a ritual
- Avoid sleeping in on the weekend to avoid that jet lag feeling
How to 'jump' out of the bed and start the day with energy and a positive outlook:
- Place your alarm clock away from the bed so you have to physically get up and turn it off
- Begin your day with a workout to release some energy and endorphins
- Use natural sunlight or artificial to begin the wake-up process
- Set your alarm tone to an uplifting song
- Rehydrate and refuel with water and breakfast after a night of fasting
- Think about what's important to you - think of your loved ones, career, motivations and commitments to encourage you to seize the day!