How to get better sleep

Most people will experience problems with sleep in their life. It’s thought that a third of people will have episodes of insomnia at some point. The causes can be physical, psychological or both.

There are no official guidelines about how much sleep you should get each night, because everyone is different, but on average, a normal amount of sleep for an adult is considered to be around 7-8 hours a night, although older adults may sleep for less.

Not only can bad sleep impact your health negatively, but also your training and performance.

If you’re having problems sleeping, here’s some tips so you can sleep better:

– Avoid caffeine or other stimulants later in the day

– Avoid alcohol as this is known to disturb sleep

– Don’t take naps during the day

– Avoid heavy meals late at night, although a small snack is recommended.

– Stick to regular times to go to bed and wake up. Even in the weekends

– Minimize light during sleep as much as possible. Use thick curtains, blinds or an eye mask. Ideally your room (or your vision) should be absolute pitch black

– Try earplugs to stop any noise disturbing you

– Try taking a warm bath an hour before you go to bed

– If possible, avoid intense exercise 2-4h before bed time

– Try doing relaxing activities before bed, such as listening to calming music or reading a book

– Your room should be slightly cold. Not too cold, but enough that you’d feel uncomfortable if you weren’t inside your bed. If needed use a fan or AC to achieve this.

– Avoid using electronics 1-2h before bed time. If you do, use software to remove/reduce blue light, such as F.lux for computers and Twilight for Android.

If your sleep habits are on point, the following supplements can also help:

– Magnesium: If you don’t get enough from your diet
200-400mg per day

– Melatonin: If you have problems falling asleep
500-5000mcg around 30mins before bed time. Start with the lower range and increase it overtime only if necessary.

– Lavender: Alleviates anxiety
80mg around 30-45mins before bed time. You might wanna take it with lemon balm as they may be synergistic.

– Glycine and Valerian: Improve well being and alertness the morning, rather than sleep itself
For Glycine take 3g around 30-60mins before bed time, for Valerian take 450mg (containing 0.8-1% valerenic acid) 30-60mins before bed time. They aren’t meant to be taken together, they simply have the same effect.

If you’re still having problems sleeping, seek professional help.

Also important to remember that over-sleeping is just as bad as under-sleeping, so if you’re regularly over-sleeping (9-10h), it might be a cause for concern.

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