I have been journaling, tracking, and taking notes related to my sleep patterns for 30-days in my quest for a better night’s rest. I’ve tried a few sleep aids and even meditated before bed. I quickly found out what works, doesn’t work and what can get in the way of a good night’s rest.
Not too surprising here but avoiding alcohol and late-night TV helped me sleep through the night and feel better rested in the morning. If I added a good workout during the day, then I slept even better. I also read from an actual book to calm my mind and get ready for sleep.
Watching my favorite Netflix shows before bed, having a glass (or two) of wine at night, and skipping workouts all led to a miserable night’s rest. Ironically, when you feel too tired to work out it doesn’t correlate with better sleep. In fact, I think it makes it worse. I found that out at 2 AM when I was wide awake.
Sometimes we have stress that we can’t avoid, and we have issues that keep us up at night. I had a few of those life situations in the past 30 days that made it hard to calm down at night and catch some quality sleep. During this time, I tried to increase my workout intensity to alleviate some of the stress. It worked some nights but not all.
My takeaway? Stick with the basics. Work out, limit alcohol and video screens, and read more actual books. I did find a few noteworthy supplements and I am happy to share them if you reach out by email.
I think we might be making sleep harder than we need to. Remember what it was like to go to bed as a kid? We bathed, put on comfy pajamas, and had our parents read a book to us! Maybe that’s the secret? No alcohol, no violence on TV, no scrolling on Instagram – what a concept.
Get some rest!
Andy Gallardo, CPT-NASM
Director of Wellness, KPSC