Now with having a proper diet and prioritizing my sleep,

I can bounce back quickly from an injury. 

 ­­– Nick Dompierre

5 tips for better sleep.

The way we live these days is completely out of sync with nature and how our body evolved to sleep and this makes it so much harder for us to sleep well. So you now know the importance of good sleep and how it affects your skating, now I’m going to go over 5 tips that you can start doing tonight to make sleeping easier, get you more in line with your natural sleeping rhythms and get you waking up feeling hyped to go skate.

1. make a sleep nest.

Make your room into a sleep nest that promotes sleep.

  • We sleep best in dark, quiet, and pretty cool environments

  • In terms of temperature you want things not too hot and not too cold, specifically 16 to 19°C, 60-67°F if you want to get your thermometer out.​​

  • If you can’t make your room dark use a sleeping mask.

  • If you live by a busy street use ear plugs/earphones playing something like white noise. I live on one of the busiest streets in Barcelona, full of pissheads and junkies screaming til the sun comes up, there’s specifically one guy that occasionally pops up and screams periodically at the top of his voice every 30 secs or so for a good 20 mins – not even joking –and until my landlord put in new windows the only way I could fall sleep was with my earphones in playing this 3 hour white noise track I found on YouTube.

  • Also turn your phone on aeroplane mode whilst you sleep, unless your cat’s in hospital there ain’t no notification worth your valuable sleep time!

2. have a sleeping ritual.

Have a sleep routine – your body clock loves routine and will make sleep easier and easier.

  • First off every day, even at the weekends you need to go to sleep and wake up at the same time, and at a time that will allow you to have 7-9 hours sleep

  • Also about 60 mins before you want to sleep you should start dialing things down and entering into chill-mode to let your body know it’s time to sleep. Do whatever works for you to chill; maybe meditate, take a warm shower, read a book, just avoid doing anything that keep you hyped up. No Gary Rogers just before bed.

  • Imagine you’re a stone 60 mins before and your job is to turn the stone into slime by the time you need to sleep.

  • Getting to sleep before 12am seems to be best in terms of being the most in line with nature and your body’s clock, but figure out what works best for you and if you need to wake at a certain time, make sure you go to bed at a time that lets you sleep 7-9hours.

  • Locking in the same routine each day will get your brain relating your habits to sleep and will trigger it to start feeling sleepy.

3. no screens.

Turn off any screens about an hour before sleep.

  • Yeh I know, this is hard! But it’s important, and maybe it will show you how addicted you are to your devices. So usually the stuff we’re checking on our phones/computers is pretty stimulating and can keep your brain from entering sleep-mode.

  • On top of this part of the actual light that’s emitted from these devices (and other bright bulbs/some street lights) – called “blue light”, also keeps you awake by tricking your brain into thinking it’s daytime and inhibiting certain brain functions that make us feel sleepy.

  • You can get blue light filters for your computer like f.lux and apps for your phone, but it’s best to just avoid them altogether before bed. I use the filters from about 9pm.

  • If you do go for a filter make sure you lower the brightness of your screen too as bright screens have a similar effect as blue light.

4. things to avoid.

Avoid certain drinks, food, and I’m sorry to say it but maybe skating just before sleep too.

  • Stimulants like coffee stay in your system for a while so try avoid them after 2pm.

  • Drinking alcohol can also affect your sleep, try not to drink anything couple of hours before you go to bed and be aware that if you’re gunna have any more than one or two drinks, although it can help you fall asleep, alcohol can destroy your sleep quality and you’ll likely wake up feeling unrested.

  • Avoid eating any large meal a couple of hours before bed.

  • Skating (or any other exercise) in the day will actually help you sleep, but try and avoid skating within about 2 hours of when you want to sleep. For most people the hype and increase in body temperature from going for a skate can make it difficult to fall asleep. Figure out what works best for you.

5. get out of bed.

Ironically getting out of bed might actually help you sleep.

  • If you can’t sleep within about 20 mins, get out of bed and do something relaxing in a low light environment - something like reading.

  • Wait until you feel sleepy, and then go back to bed.

  • If you stay in bed and you can't sleep your brain makes the association between wakefulness and being in bed, and that's something that definitely won't help you sleep.

  • This is another reason to avoid watching films, working, etc. in bed - to avoid building that connection between wakefulness and your bed.

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