Sleep is one of the most important factors in a person’s health. Consistent sleep can mean the difference between a great race or workout, avoiding an injury, better productivity at work or simply maintaining a good mood.
While a perfect night’s rest is difficult to achieve every night, following these steps can help overall sleep quality. Cyclists should aim for eight to ten hours of sleep a night, while some people suggest that they don’t need that much sleep, research shows that many cognitive functions are impaired when people get less.
Step 1 – Keep your room cool
The temperature of your bedroom can hugely impact how deeply you sleep. Keeping your room around 17-19 degrees Celcius creates optimal sleep conditions.
Step 2 – Wear pyjamas
This may sound like a weird one, but wearing pyjamas can help facilitate sleep. Some experts say that the act of actually putting on a different set of clothing prepares you mentally for bedtime.
Step 3 – Don’t eat right before bed
Allow your body some time to wind down before bed. When you eat a large meal, you inhibit your body’s ability to enter sleep mode.
Step 4 – Go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time every day
Going to bed at a similar time every day develops a routine and prevents what’s referred to as, “social jet lag”. Staying up late and sleeping in long can impair sleep quality. By maintaining a sleep routine, runners can develop circadian rhythms that promote quality sleep, as opposed to just spending time in bed.
Staying up late on the weekends can be just as bad for your sleep patterns as taking a trans-atlantic flight. And you don’t even get the benefit of waking up in Europe.
Step 5 – Turn off the screens.
Within an hour of your bedtime, avoid blue light. The blue light that comes from your cellphone or television suppresses the secretion of melatonin. An extension of step five is to make your bedroom dark. All light hugely effects sleep quality, not just blue light. Researchers at Harvard University found that even a dim light can interfere with a person’s sleep schedule