We all need it. No one seems to get enough of it. There never seems to be a real “fix”. Some people say you need your 8 hours, others say 6. So, what is the magic number? Well I don’t know, what is YOUR magic number. Some absolutely need 8, others are high octane after 6. Personality type and “drive” play a large role in the amount of sleep each person needs. If you are perky and not crashing at any point in day, you're likely hitting your sleep requirement. If you can never seem to get enough sleep, try the hacks below and get back on track to a normal rested state.
Here’s my “sleep hack” list for more ZZZs:
1. Consistent routine at night. Same bed time and wake time. Your body likes consistency.
2. Unplug at least 15 minutes before bed. No “thought-provoking” reading, no cell phones, no TV, nada.
3. Lights out! Black out everything. Even electronics should be dimmed or even in a different room for no interruptions.
4. No caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks) 4-10 hrs before bed. This might seem drastic, but caffeine will typically have an effect 8 hrs after consumption.
5. Avoid drinking a lot of liquid before bed. You are asking to get up at 2 am to take a leak.
6. Take natural vitamins/supplements like magnesium to aid in a restful sleep. Other sleep aids can be beneficial, but I only recommend them if all of the above fail. Here are a number of natural sleep aids: MyoCalm P.M. and Calm Eze. Magnesium can also be used. My two suggestions: Magnesium Citrate (if no loose stool issues) or Magnesium Glycinate (if having loose stool issues).
Thank you for investing in your health.
Joseph Champa, RD, CSCS