Dear extremely Type A entrepreneur,

Do you ever have those nights where no matter what you do, you cannot switch your brain off?

That was me up until about 5 years ago, and it drove me absolutely insane.

Sleep boosts your immune system, renews your cells, boosts brain cognition, and also assists with metabolism allowing to those stubborn last ten pounds to melt away.

#winning

Here are some tips to really increase the quality and length of your sleep. The last one is absolutely crucial and should be taken very seriously:

1. No More Screens Before Bed!

Remove the television from your room. Yes, it’s convenient. Yes, The Real Housewives is on. But doing this decreases your melatonin by essentially waking your brain up due to the blue light in electronics.

Your pineal gland signals melatonin to release a couple of hours before bedtime, and if it senses light from any electronic it immediately stops its production.

Eliminate cell phone use 1 hour before bed. This is due to the same properties above, your body confuses night with day and stops melatonin production. I suggest putting it in another room, where you can’t subconsciously grab for it every 2 seconds.

2. Quit Your Afternoon Caffeine Hit

No caffeine after 3 pm. The exception to this is if you work out at night, but it’s absolutely crucial you don’t go past 5 pm with the java. I test the waters every now and then and I immediately regret my decision each and every time.

3. Create The Perfect Sleep Environment

Keep your bedroom at 68-70 degrees. Your body simply cannot relax if it’s hot. In fact, take a cooler shower before bedtime; it is actually beneficial because it lowers your body temperature.

Use a sleep fan or a white noise app. If you are a light sleeper this is absolutely crucial. I have both a physical fan that I keep in my room to drown out noise as well as a phone app for when I’m traveling. The app is literally called Sleep Fan, how cute.

4. Adjust Your Eating Habits

Stop eating 2 hours before bedtime. Digestion is a culprit in sleep disturbance, as your body (and your organs) should be at rest before bed. This is especially important if you have food intolerances as any gas, bloating, acid reflux will diminish your quality of sleep. 

5. Stop Drinking Sooner

Drinking alcohol before bed will be counterproductive to good sleep. Most people think it helps you, which isn’t true. Though alcohol will relax you in the beginning, it will actually signal your nervous system to wake you up in the middle of the night upon wearing off, causing massive anxiety.

Other things that can contribute to quality sleep are changes in diet, lifestyle, and certain supplements you can add in, such as melatonin.

At the end of the day, if you aren’t sleeping, you can’t be productive. And if you aren’t being productive, you aren’t thriving.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Taylor Stone

Taylor is a former NFL cheerleader who attended Arizona State University majoring in Exercise Science and Health Promotion as well as holds multiple certificates from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She also attended The Institute of Integrative Nutrition to become a Holistic Health Coach specializing in weight-loss, anti-aging, detoxification, hormones and lifestyle coaching.
Taylor takes a holistic approach of the body and strives to empower women to take back control of their lives by transforming their mind, body and soul.

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