10.10.17// Get To Bed!
Max effort Wall Ball shots, anytime you stop, run to the corner.
Max effort Handstand Push Ups, anytime you come off the wall, run to the corner and back.
- alternate movements each time you return from the run.
In a perfect world, as the sun begins to set, you would lie down in a comfortable bed, do some light reading from a print book or magazine for entertainment and fall asleep as it gets dark. Your bed would be comfortable enough that you would never need to adjust your legs or position throughout the night. Your spouse wouldn't snore or move either. The temperature would neither leave you shivering nor sweating, and you could gently rise as the sun comes up.
Reality. You have kids sports practices or a meeting to wait for, get them home and fed, and once they're in bed, can I have like an hour to finally relax? You try to watch some TV, but you're distracted by Facebook or Instagram, and you've gone down some Youtube rabbit hole falling asleep dropping your phone on your face. You're stressed about a project at work, you ache from your workout, you're dead tired, but can't fall asleep. Once you fall asleep, your daughter craps the bed.
If you guessed that I'll suggest you start with small consistent habits, you're right! Start with your bedtime routine. What bedtime routine?
What do you usually do to wind down? TV? Reading? Unpacking your day with your spouse? The newest research (sorry no references, just trust me) shows that manufactured light, throws off your circadian rhythm or the hormones that tell you to go to sleep or wake up. Light keeps you awake. We really naturally know when it's time to re-charge our batteries, but it's really really taxing on our brains and bodies if we're awake when we should be sleeping. Mixed signals are just killer. Tired because you should be, can't sleep because your body thinks it's day time with all the un-natural light. I recommend you ditch the glow of the TV, Phone, Tablet, or Computer pre-bed. Try reading a book or magazine instead.
Some of you fall asleep elsewhere, the couch, then go to bed. Rather, go to bed first and fall asleep there.
Have a comfortable bed. How long can you lie on your back without having to adjust your legs. You'll tuck one ankle behind your other knee or turn onto your side. If your bed is actually comfortable, you can just lie on your back and fall asleep without adjusting. If not, it probably should be softer.
The temperature in your room should be on the cooler side, but not cold.
A common mistake is self-meditating with alcohol to fall asleep. It just knocks you out, it doesn't help you sleep better. You're basically consuming a toxin that your liver has to metabolize. It throws off your hormones and when you wake up, you're much more groggy and feeling a little slow and or dehydrated. You could think of this as me being Mr. No-Fun coach, but I did't say you could't drink earlier in the day ;-) It's a little ironic that on the weekend, which is an awesome opportunity to get sleep right, we often stay up later and drink, but then somehow expect to be refreshed after the weekend.
To Summarize the best ritual. Put away your phone, tablet, tv etc. 30 minutes before bed-time. Fall asleep slowly on a comfortable bed in a completely dark, cool, and quiet room. Stay there for 8 or 9 hours.
Try those, or even just one of those first. Dial them in and get consistent. Still not working to help you with better quality sleep? Then maybe consider these things too.
Minerals! A Zinc/Magnesium/Vitimin B6 (ZMA on the bottle) is a common natural sleep aid. You could also just try just Magnesium. A Vitamin pill/capsule, soak in a bath with epsom salts (contains Magnesium) or even a magnesium oil.
Carbs! Before bed, slowly consume a serving of slow digesting smart carbohydrate. Steel-cut Oats, Beans or lentils, Potato. Make them slow digesting carbs. If you cram a piece of pie pre-bed, you'll just sweat in your carb-flame while you're trying to fall asleep. This is also a great strategy for you guys who work out early. And I don't know who started the rumor that pre-bed carbs make you fat. No! cake is what makes you fat and it doesn't matter when you eat it. Slow carbs give you lasting energy and help you regulate blood sugar and hormone levels. And if it's bed time, you aren't magically going to get the energy or motivation to go run a marathon, you'll sleep like a baby.
As far as anything Marked PM. It's fake sleep. You're basically just taking it to knock you out because you know you're supposed to have your eyes closed for a least 6 hours. I wouldn't even consider it as a last resort to be honest. I'd rather just stay up and get something done. You'll wake up just as un-rested.
Melatonin, I think is relatively harmless. As far as dosing though, you’ll have to figure it out on your own or ask a doctor.
But here’s the deal, a comfortable bed and a consistent healthy sleep ritual just have so many monumental health and wellness benefits that if you’re downing 2 melatonin with a glass of wine and a Tylenol PM chaser right after your bowl of oatmeal and a joint, you’re stepping over $100 bills to pick up pennies!