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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys' Guy's Guide to a Good Night's Sleep

Robert Manni - Friday, April 04, 2014


According to the National Sleep Foundation, 43% of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep.

Of those bleary-eyed folks, 60% claim that they have trouble sleeping every night. This is an alarming trend for our country’s restless masses. But sleep is as natural an act as breathing or eliminating waste, and the benefits of getting a good night's sleep are endless, so here are my Guys’ Guy’s tip for scoring a good night’s rest.

Hydration.

Believe it or not, your water intake has a major impact on your ability to sleep. A lack of adequate hydration explains all that seemingly endless tossing and turning in the middle of the night. But you are not alone. Studies show that to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. If you're concerned about making too many trips to the bathroom over the course of the deep, dark night, consider drinking water throughout the day instead of chugging a few big glasses before hitting the hay.  And remember that alcohol and caffeine are contributors to dehydration and those restless feelings.

Your sleeping quarters.

Your bedroom should serve two primary functions— sleep and sex. Watching television and in particular violent shows about zombies or depressing news does not create a restful, relaxed frame of mind. So don’t watch TV in the bedroom. But the real eye-opener is your phone. Studies have shown that over 83% of young adults sleep next to their cell phones. That’s no way to get your much needed shut eye.  

The equipment.

Everyone has their own personal preferences, but a firm mattress and a few buckwheat husk pillows have worked wonders for me. Buckwheat husks conform to the curvature of your neck and believe me, this makes a major difference over the course of the evening. They’re also cheaper than conventional pillows. If you feel like your body changes temperatures a lot, I'd suggest using blankets made of natural fibers in layers. This way you can shed or add them as you need and the natural fibers breathe better than synthetic materials.

Napping.

I was never a napper until I reached my thirties and realized that I was no longer Superman. I decided to pay more attention to my body and grab a few winks whenever I felt the urge. Naps rejuvenate the body and mind without concern that a short siesta will prevent you from getting a full night’s rest.  Even a short nap could have surprising health benefits, and the National Sleep Foundation agrees.

The power of your mind.

When all else fails, consider working with your subconscious. After all it, makes sure you sleep and breathe and most other things you do without having to be reminded. When I turn in I’ve found it helpful to lay on my back and softly tell myself, “I fall asleep easily and I sleep soundly”. If you need more examples there are hundreds of websites that are chock-filled with affirmations that could help you get the rest your body and mind need.

So don’t relegate yourself to a life of insomnia. There are many factors that contribute to your ability to sleep. After all, you spend a third of your life in bed so you might as well use all the resources at your disposal to make the best of it.

Are you doing what’s necessary to get a good night’s sleep?

JM DeBord commented on 13-May-2014 02:30 AM
Great advice for sleeping. I'm going to check out buckwheat pillows. You might add to your list that it's a good idea to learn about your sleep cycle and the importance of deep sleep. With knowledge of the sleep cycle you can set an alarm to wake up at an optimum time. Hint: sleep cycles are generally 90 minutes long, and waking at the end of a cycle is optimal.

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