So much of your fitness regime can be undone by poor sleep habits. Crossfit London member Nicholas Davies shares his top sleep tips.
Rules for better sleep
- Never go to bed until you’re insanely tired – wait until you’re exhausted and you absolutely can’t stay awake any more. But know you limits and when to transition from wherever you are to the bedroom – don’t fall asleep on the sofa or mid way walking to the bedroom – you need to fall asleep in bed! If you get this right you will fall asleep in seconds after hitting the pillow.
- Never do anything in the bedroom except sleep (ok – yes, that means you have to be more adventurous in the locations of other activities! And no I don’t mean your TV channel selections – TV’s are banned. So maybe not a bad thing to spice things up too)
- When you wake up; get up and out of bed. Don’t snooze, lay in or read a book. This will make you more sleepy at the wrong points. And getting up sooner will make you more tired for point 1.
- Leave the curtains open – let the natural light start to wake you up; try and phase out your alarm clock if you can (takes practice and you may need a backup in the early months – so if you need 7 hours sleep, and go to bed at 11pm – try steadilly moving the alarm by 5 mins out each few weeks from 6am to 6:05, 6:10, 6:15 etc.) In winter times when there is less natural daylight try a Philips Wake Up light – (click Wake up with light button in the middle)
- Never use/look at your phone / tablet in bed (these are banned from the bedroom); indeed don’t look at a bright display for at least 30 mins (ideally an hour) before you go to bed – this includes your computer. Read a book instead or plan your next day, feed the pets, make your lunch – whatever you do, ensure there’s no display and that its not mentally taxing.
- Unless you’re a high caffeine metaboliser (find our here) then watch what you drink after 8pm
- If you are older, go for a pee before you sleep – even if you don’t feel like you want to. A full bladder will wake you up;
- Check you don’t snore; maybe you have a partner that doesn’t tell you, or you are just missing a partner; Apps can help
For good sleep monitoring