We’ve all met people who never seem to be tired. Why do they always look so refreshed? What are their secrets? The answer isn’t necessarily that they have the luxury of sleeping more than you, instead they have simple habits that contribute to achieving plenty of high-quality rest.
So what exactly are they doing? Here are some of the most common traits among elite sleepers that The Huffington Post says you should add to your life:
- Don’t sleep in: Create a healthy sleep pattern by sticking to a regular wake up and seeking bright light first thing is the morning. A consistent wake time set your internal clock, helping you feel tired at the right time in the evening. In addition, sleeping in on your off days can throw your body out of order and continue to make you tired. Getting the right amount of sleep will mean you won’t need to play catch up on the weekends.
- Ban electronics from your bedroom:Not only do the texts you receive during the night disrupt your sleep, so does the light from your smart phone, as well as TVs, laptops, tablets, as it sends a signal to the brain that it is daytime, or time to be awake. Exposure to artificial light suppresses release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Be strategic with your naps: A good nap in the middle of the day can increase alertness, productivity, and creativity and also reduces stress. Keep your naps short, no longer than 30 minutes. Napping too long will leave you groggier than before you started. A nap too late in the day can cause you to have trouble falling asleep at your regular bedtime. The best time to take a nap is often between 2 and 3 p.m.
- Get active: People who participate in regular physical activities sleep better than those who don’t. In a poll done by the National Sleep Foundation, exercisers reported to have an easier time sleeping, compared than those who didn’t exercise. More than 80% of people who said they were vigorous exercisers claimed to have fairly good or great sleep quality, compared to just 56% of those who said they didn’t get any activity.
- Think about it before you do it: It is important to go through a process to prepare ourselves for sleep. An hour or so before bed, power down all electronics and swap them for better activities such as reading or showering. Eventually, a regular nighttime routine can automatically send signals to the body that it’s time to sleep.
- Eat and drink at the right times:It’s not just caffeine and alcohol you need to be aware of, evening dieting choices such as chocolate, steak or even spicy foods will keep you awake past your bedtime. Also, eating a big meal too late at night can wake up your metabolism, waking you up too.
- Fall in love with sleep: The people you see everyday who are well rested don’t resent sleep. They accept it as an important key to their success, a way to reach their optimal health and performance goals.
- Let quality come naturally: When you worry about not getting enough rest, you increase your anxiety, counteracting your sleep process. If you’re having a bad night of sleep, simply get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel tired.
Sleep is the most cost effective health program there is. Don’t miss out on all of the free benefits! Benjamin Franklin said it best, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”