11 Ways To Better Sleep Today

We’ve discussed the benefits of sleep and its importance in our overall health, physical performance and cognition. It’s easy to say, prioritize your sleep but what can we actually do to encourage more restful sleep each night? Like exercise and nutrition, your sleep routine should be as consistent as possible. This will give you the best chance to get restful sleep each night.

Before we get too far into the weeds here, everyone’s ability to consistently achieve great sleep is different. Yes, some of us naturally stay asleep longer and sleep heavier than others. Some people feel rested after 6 hours of sleep and other people require at least 8 hours, no questions asked. We are simply discussing what can be done as a general approach to increase your odds of getting optimal sleep.

sleep routine
  • For the majority of us, the best things we can do to set ourselves up for adequate, restful sleep include:
  • Having a consistent bedtime and wake up time (yes, on the weekends too)
  • Prepare a cool, dark, quiet bedroom
  • Turn on a fan or other white noise source (if silence is not an option)
  • Avoid electronics (phone, computer, TV, tablet, etc)
  • Avoid caffeine in the afternoon/evening hours
  • Minimize alcohol
  • Take a warm shower or bath
  • Wear an eye mask if certain light is unavoidable
  • Meditate, do breathing exercises or light stretching
  • Reading a book (a real book with pages and use a soft light source)
  • Get 5-10 minutes of early morning sunlight (go outside)
    • Helps reset our internal clock and does in turn help us relax at nighttime

We know that every single night will not be the same, however, habits done consistently over time can have a compounding effect. Start small and improve where you may be lacking. If you need to stay off your phone, stay off your phone. It is overstimulating and causes us to be awake and alert. Set an alarm to start winding down at night. Avoid caffeine later in the day. Similar to exercise and nutrition, start with 1 or 2 things that you feel confident tackling first and go from there. Sleep is an invaluable currency that deserves our attention. It really does matter.

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Michael Allen

Author Bio

Michael has been working with clients in the gym and countless adults in a physical therapy setting since 2013. He spent 3 semesters working at Towson University with student-athletes from nearly every sport at the school. He served as the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for Kennard-Dale High School during the 2019-2020 school year. His goal is to always get better and give you the safest and most effective use of your time at First Capital Gym.