imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

IN MY EYES: Sleep well

Babies are supposed to sleep between 12 to 17 hours per day.

Teens are advised to sleep at least 8 hours a day.

Adults must sleep at least 6 hours at night.

I always see to it that I always sleep before 11:00 PM and get up at 5:00 AM. That gives me at least 6 hours sleep. Waking up in the morning recharged boosts my brain.  Too many people are still taking sleep for granted. They’re working late or just in the terrible bad habit of staying up to watch late night television. What they may not realize is that in doing so, they are robbing their body – and most importantly – their brain of all the good things it needs to be doing to achieve maximum health and performance in life.

Early in the morning is the best time for me to write. Writing in the wee hours of the night exhausts my brain.

People who could hardly sleep are called insomniacs. They suffer from insomnia.  Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or to remain asleep long enough to feel rested, especially when this is a problem that continues overtime.

But why the number of sleep hours, fellas?

Or why sleep that long?

Sleep is a time when your body recharges. It reboots the engine so to speak so you can feel focused and full of concentration during the next day. Chances are you’ve already noticed that after a night of not much sleep, it’s like you suffer from serious ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). You just cannot get focused. This is because your brain hasn’t had that chance to recharge and instead, is running on fumes, so to speak.

When I get just 2 hours sleep at night, I see to it that I nap at daytime. I nap from 15 to 30 minutes and that recharges me again.

Martin Reilly, author of Memory Repair Protocol says it’s critical that you are taking sleep seriously. In order to do so, proper sleep hygiene and habits must be in place. If you think you can just go from your busy hectic day to bed and fall asleep like a baby, you need to adjust your expectations. Most people do require time to unwind and relax and without that time, it just isn’t going to happen.

Luckily, getting your sleep straight doesn’t require a huge colossal effort. With a few adjustments to your routine, you can get yourself on track to sleeping better.

Let’s take a closer look at the steps one should be taking.

Set a schedule.

First, get yourself into a schedule. If you can, try and go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day… As much of a pain as this may be, your body works best when it’s on a regular schedule. You’ll get into your groove and you won’t have those late Sunday nights any longer where you are tossing and turning in bed because your body just does not want to fall asleep.

Most of us have been there and experienced the frustration associated with that. If you stay up until the wee hours of the morning on Saturday and then sleep until noon on Sunday, going to bed at 9 or 10pm on Sunday night won’t be happening.

Develop a pre-bed stress reducing routine.

It’s also essential that you develop a good pre-bed routine. Do the same thing each and every night so that when you do, your body realizes that this is you getting ready for sleep.

It might be something as simple as taking a bath and then washing up before bed. Or, you might dim the lights and put a few candles out and practice some meditation. Do whatever works for you but keep it regular and constant as well. Here again, routine is key.

Eat wisely.

It’s not accurate that you must avoid eating before bed as a light snack could actually help you sleep. This said, you do want to avoid eating heavy, calorie dense foods and especially those that are high in fats. Doing so will cause blood to rush to your digestive system, putting your body to work.

This I turn may make it a lot harder for you to fall asleep later on. Instead, try a light snack that consists of some protein along and may even induce a state of sleepiness as well.

Your snack should be around 200-250 calories and should be lower in sugar content. Think a bowl of oatmeal with some milk or some tuna with a few whole wheat crackers.

Avoid all electronics.

Finally, the last important sleep tip to know and remember is to avoid all electronics before you turn in for the night. These will emit certain light waves that can stimulate your brain and cause you to lay awake in bed at night, making it nearly impossible to sleep.

This means putting away your cell phone, your iPad, turning off your computer, and even avoiding the TV. Try reading a good old-fashioned book instead. It’ll be a far more sleep-friendly activity to do at this time.

Live healthy, live long and make the best of life everyday through the years.

Sleep well, fellas.