Better Sleep Means Faster Times: 9 Tips for Better Sleep


Whether you’re a swimmer or a designated driver (oops, I mean loving parent!), waking up for morning practices is never easy. If you’re having a hard time waking up in the morning, it might mean that you need more sleep.

Studies have shown that taking 10-20 minutes to fall asleep is considered normal. If you take less time, you could be sleep deprived. If you take more time, you might want to try some of these helpful tips to fall asleep faster.

Sleep Chart

1) Sleep on your side

It might seem harmless to sleep on your back, but studies have shown that it can worsen your quality of sleep and make you more likely to have sleep apnea and lower back pain. Both of these factors can make it more difficult to fall asleep and can hurt the quality of your sleep.

Sleeping on your side is also better for your heart since it prevents heartburn and reflux.

2) Take a warm shower before bed

Studies have shown that a high core body temperature before bedtime correlates to difficulty falling asleep. So, taking a warm shower before bedtime slows your metabolism and reverses this effect.

Further, having a consistent shower schedule before bed can signal to your body that it is time to sleep. (If you’re familiar, you can think of this as a Pavlovian response!)

3) Sleep in a 65 degree room

Sleeping in a cool room has the exact same effect as taking a warm shower before bed: It decreases your body temperature. The National Sleep Foundation recommends setting the room at exactly 65 degrees to slow down your heart rate and digestion, and help you fall asleep.

4) Wear socks in the evening

You probably either love or hate wearing socks in bed, but the National Sleep Foundation has found that wearing them can seriously help you fall asleep quickly. Warm hands and feet mean quicker sleep, so if you want to go above and beyond you might even want to wear gloves are you’re getting ready for bed in the evening!

5) Try aromatherapy with lavender

Lavender oil relaxes your body and lowers your blood pressure. Even just sniffing the oil has been proven to help you have a deep and satisfying sleep.

6) Have dinner by candlelight

Sleep benefits aside, we should all have dinner by candlelight more often!

But if you really need the extra motivation, information from the Harvard Health Publications shows that exposure to any light makes it more difficult for the body to produce melatonin. Melatonin is important for sleep, so avoiding light (especially blue light and LED) by using candles can get you in the mood. The mood for sleep, that is!

7) Avoid late snacks and the wrong foods

Digestion is an important prerequisite for sleep, so if you eat fatty and spicy foods your body might need a little extra time to digest.

On the other hand, eating foods rich in potassium, magnesium, carbohydrates, vitamin D, and selenium at least 4 hours before bedtime can help you get that restful night of sleep. In other words, soy products, bananas, milk, avocados, egg yolks, oily fish, and spinach are your new best friends.

8) Start meditating

Meditating is not just trendy, but it is a great way to help you sleep. Anxiety and stress are huge contributing factors to insomnia, but meditating for just 10-15 minutes a day can decrease your stress enough to alleviate symptoms of insomnia and improve your quality and duration of sleep.

9) Let your imagination run free

It might sound strange, but according to an Oxford study, practicing peaceful visualization before bed can help you fall asleep 20 minutes faster. So stop counting sheep and start visualizing relaxing scenes like waterfalls and gentle rivers!

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If you try these tips, be sure to tell me what you think in the comments, or tag Zone on Twitter @zoneswimwear so we can hear about it!


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