Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sleep

It's an often overlooked activity in life. I know people who "live" off 4 hours of sleep a night. I also know people who struggle every night to get to sleep and finally I know people who struggle to wake up. I don't know many people who say they sleep well.

Why is sleeping like a baby just for babies? Why can't we just go back to sleeping well?

Last night I got 10 hours of uninterrupted deep sleep. I had it coming for sure. Last week in Germany I would sleep 10 or 11pm to 1 am. Then 3 am to 5 am. That's not good sleep. My mentality when I travel like that is to appreciate what I get and roll with it. But it comes back to "get" me at home. So last night was the night. 10 hours of down time. The great thing is this morning I feel better than I've felt in two weeks. So to me that mean's I'm back to normal.

I'm no sleep expert but I read often about it and I actively pursue it daily so I feel expert enough to write about it. First I must say I come from a family that can sleep. When I was 16 my father took me to a Cheap Trick concert. While I rocked out he slept. How can anyone sleep in something that loud? Anyway once asleep I'm out, but often times I struggle to get to sleep and if it's not enough sleep I struggle to wake up. So what causes this:

Food - The more I learn about what's good for my body the more I'm convinced that food is the biggest culprit. I don't expect everyone to follow my Primal methods of eating but I would give this advice. No Sugar after 6pm. If you are a late eater like we are (8pm is not rare for dinner at our house) then stick with that. But on those occasions where we eat earlier I always have a high quality snack (Nuts and berries) one hour before bed.

Screens - Computer, TV, video games - We purposely don't have a tv in our bedroom. The idea is to stay away from a screen roughly one hour before bed time. That mean's we pick up a book or a magazine or my gosh have a conversation. We certainly are not perfect at this but it's a good goal to shoot for.

Pain - Pain is the worst when you are trying to sleep. Pain in the back is probably the biggest pain we suffer. I think the key to this is find out what's wrong and find some good stretches that can subdue the pain. I've learned that stretching at night is the best for me. This helps to relax my muscles and I wake up ready to go.

Work/Family - Troubles or challenges here probably cost a huge amount of sleep. They sure have in my life. For work I make it a point to stop any work at 7 pm. That's hard when a great deal of my work is in China but as long as I'm consistent, they know what to expect from me. As for Family, work on that all day and going to sleep is much easier.

So these are the things I work on for Sleep. My goal is 7-8 hours. I hope if you are struggling with sleep these tips can help you too.

It's a good life...
Dave
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