Recovery is one of the two factors in the Stress Recovery Adaptation (SRA) model, and when you boil it down, there are really only two elements of recovery worth worrying about: food and sleep. Sleep is something we all know we need, but often struggle to get enough of. With work demands, family demands, and the gauntlet of digital distractions lining the path to the bedroom, it sometimes seems like sleep is out of our control. To some extent, for some people (like the parents of newborns), that may be true. However, there are sleep factors we can control!
Sleep quality is as much the result of your sleeping environment as the amount of time you spend sleeping there. The optimal sleeping environment comes down to individual preference, but here are some things you should try first:
- Get a quality mattress (or replace your old one). It doesn’t have to be expensive! Several highly rated memory foam mattresses are available on Amazon for as little as a few hundred dollars.
- If you sleep with a significant other, use separate blankets so you don’t disturb each other during the night.
- Turn the thermostat down — most people sleep better with the temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Turn off the phone before bedtime, preferably an hour before. The blue light that digital screens emit can make restful deep sleep states harder to achieve. This includes any ringtones, notifications, or other distracting noises your phone might make during the night.
- White noise can help light sleepers from waking due to intermittent noises during the night. There are apps for this, or you can use something simple like a fan to create steady white noise.
- If your sleep quality has been poor, do a sleep study! Sleep apnea may be robbing your sleep and your gainz, but can be corrected with a CPAP machine.
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