Days 10,11, 12 (OOPS) and WHY I’M GOING TO BED RIGHT NOW.
Friends. It’s been quite a week.
I have a post in the works about how sleep is an integral part of your overall health, but given that fact that it is now 10:30 and I JUST finished eating dinner and I am possibly seeing dream-Jesus at the end of a tunnel right now, I think it best that I throw in the towel for today. Tomorrow, I shall update on what was a pretty awesome Q&A session from this evening (bonus points for the computer NOT eating my notes!) If you haven’t swung by a Q&A yet, you totally should. We are an extremely entertaining group, and we talk a lot about Dorito tacos, the wonder of sleeping under a fluffy blanket in a really cold room, how some people can run Broad Street with only a day of training (ahem) and of course, so much discussion about bowel movements. Seriously, your Thursday night could not BE more fun!
But until then, I’ll leave you with some quick tips on how I set myself up for a good night’s sleep, as well as links to information on sleep, stress and recovery from some very smart people.
And as far as my eating goes? Just know that I’m in triage mode right now. Today is my first day without any coffee whatsoever and…oy. That’s all I can say. Oy.
Meanwhile, go to bed everyone! Remember, trading restorative, wonderful sleep for trying to do ALLTHETHINGS will come back to bite you in the long run. Really. (PS: You do know where ALL THE THINGS comes from, right? Please say yes. If you don’t, click that link and die laughing.)
Reduce the blue light that’s in your face 1-2 hours before bedtime. Here’s a scienc-i-er discussion on what Blue Light is but for the quick-and-dirty, I’m talking about mainly SCREENS. That means tv, computer, ipad, a backlit Kindle, and/or your cell phone. Essentially, blue light is what you’re exposed to during the day (by the sun). We’ve evolved to get tired when the sun sets because the dwindling blue light signals our body to increase melatonin production, which is what makes you tired. Your body doesn’t know the difference between blue light from the daytime sky and blue light from Facebook stalking at 1 in the morning. So shut it down, people. I promise, nothing good happens on the Internet after 10:30pm. Except this blog.
If you don’t have the luxury of shutting down, considering downloading this program that gradually reduces the blue in your computer screen as the sun sets. It’s pretty cool.
In the same vein as the above, consciously start turning off lights as you settle in for the night. Light some candles! Be romantic! Your house will smell great!
Set Up Your Bedroom:
PITCH DARKNESS. See above! I bought blackout curtains from Target for $30/window – and no, the fabric isn’t black, they’re just designed to block light. I also make sure my cell phone is face down on the floor and that I’ve covered my alarm clock with a towel so the glowing numbers don’t keep me up. That stupid alarm and its stupid blue light.
SERIOUSLY, PITCH DARKNESS. I’m a really big advocate of getting the tv out of your bedroom (and the laptop). Your bedroom should be a haven for sleeping and sex. Save the Daily Show and Honey Boo-Boo Child for the living room.
TEMPERATURE DOWN. I consider sleeping in a cold room under a fluffy blanket one of life’s great luxuries.
READ BEFORE BED. But nothing too exciting – for real, put Twilight away. No one can sleep with that kind of mental stimulation.
WHITE NOISE. This can help with stupid next door neighbors that let their dog out at 5am. I found my white noise machine for $20 on Amazon.
Finally – if this stuff isn’t working:
Consider supplementing with Natural Calm (magnesium) – I don’t advocate a lot of supplements but I do think that a lot of people are deficient in magnesium no matter how hard they try (depletion of our soil and what have you). Natural Calm is a powder that you mix into a little water and drink before bed. The magnesium very gently relaxes your muscles (all muscles, careful, it can have a laxative effect if you take too much) and can help ease you into sleep and sleep more deeply. I use this.
Try to consciously get outside during the day, especially in the early morning once the sun is up – if you can swing it, take a quick walk around the block first thing in the morning to help you wake up.
Consider when you’re training – late night exercise can also lead to troubles sleeping. Some people are okay with working out late, others find they have trouble with it. Just be aware!
Finally, consider not just how much caffeine you’re consuming but WHEN (ahem, this includes chocolate, sorry guys). I know that if I drink coffee after about 11am, I can’t fall asleep.