Sleep is important to function in every aspect of life.
According to the Sleep Foundation, “sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy and stave off diseases.”
If you don’t get enough sleep, both your body and brain suffer. A lack of sleep can cause you problems as you attempt to concentrate and think.
What is “enough” sleep?
According to experts, you need at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Anything less than 6 hours of sleep a night, and you are putting yourself at risk of the following health problems:
●High cortisol levels
In addition to the above, you are also putting yourself at risk of experiencing a bad roundof golf if you don’t get enough sleep the night before. That’s because a lack of sleep can cause your mental strength to suffer, as well as your physical strength – both of which you need to play a good round of golf.
So if you find that you are struggling with your sleep, don’t worry. Here you’ll find some tips and tricks on how to improve your sleep so that you can enjoy your golf round more, and play better, too.
Top 6 Ways to Improve Your Sleep
1. Meditate before bed
Even if you don’t consider yourself someone who is good at or enjoys meditation, it is worth a try.
Take just an extra 15 minutes every night to calm your mind, unplug from all electronics, and get into a headspace where you can easily drift off to sleep.
If you struggle to do this on your own, there are some great apps out there to guide you through meditation. Some of our favorites are Calm and Headspace. These have specific guided meditations that walk you through the process until you feel like you can meditate on your own. Or, you may find that you prefer the guided meditations and continue to use them even after you’ve become accustomed to meditation.
2. Get active during the day
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to all sorts of issues.
If you aren’t getting enough movement in your daily life, you may find yourself suffering from the following issues:
●High blood pressure
●Type 2 diabetes
Regular exercise throughout your day is important to keep the risk of those issues at bay. Exercise is also great for improving your sleep.
How does that work?
Studies show that exercising daily can help you feel more tired when it comes time to go to bed. Exercising can mean a walk, a yoga class, a workout at the gym, some time and the driving range, and more.
Just note that being active for 30 minutes a day and spending the rest of your day being sedentary is not enough to keep you healthy and happy. You need to incorporate multiple breaks for some form of exercise throughout your day, even if it just means a quick walk around the block.
3. Only consume caffeine in the morning
It may feel as if some days, you can’t make it through the day unless you’ve got a constant flow of caffeine in your system.
However, doing so can negatively affect your sleep pattern.
Caffeine is shown to stay in your system for a minimum of four hours. So when that 3:00 afternoon slump hits, turn to other energy-boosting methods to help you get through the rest of the day. By consuming caffeine this late, chances are good you will struggle when it’s time to go to bed.
To help us get extra energy during the day when we are feeling tired, we love to take a walk, have a 10-minute stretch break, do some quick chores around the house, or make a phone call to a friend.
4. Cut electronics an hour before bedtime
Chances are good you’ve heard about the blue lights that electronics such as laptops, smartphones, and televisions emit.
And we are willing to bet that what you’ve heard isn’t great. However, according to Havard Health Publishing, the negative effects of the blue light exposure we get from our electronics are not as bad as many people think.
Things such as aging, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and more put you at a much higher risk of having any issues with blindness and/or macular degeneration than blue light does. In fact, the maximum brightness on new iPhones is 625 candelas per square meter, which is half as bright as the lights in most retail stores, and 10 times lighter than the ambient illumination from the sun.
However, you still want to put that phone away or turn off that Netflix show about an hour prior to your bedtime.
Because although they may not be causing irreversible damage to your eyes, those blue lights from your electronics are known to affect your sleep. That’s because they mess with your circadian rhythm and your biological clock.
So limit your use of these electronics at night, and swap your phone for a book when you’re nearing bedtime.
5. Drink plenty of water throughout the day
As mentioned above, you don’t want to consume a bunch of water right before bed, or else your sleep will suffer.
However, in order to help you get a better’s night’s sleep, it is important that you drink enough water throughout the day. A study found that people who slept 6 hours a night showed to have much higher rates of dehydration than people who slept 8 hours.
So work on consuming water throughout the day to keep your hydration levels up. As a general rule of thumb, you should try to consume half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. That means if you weigh 150 pounds, you should consume 75 ounces of water every day.
6. Establish a bedtime routine
Many people find that a bedtime routine helps them sleep better. Everyone’s bedtime routine may look different but having one can help to put your body in a relaxed state so that you’re ready for a full night’s sleep.
Some people find that setting an alarm for the time in which they need to start their bedtime routine is helpful. It serves as a cue that it’s time to start winding down.
As you wind down, you may find that some of the following practices help you get into the sleep mindset more easily:
●Turn down the lights
●Lower the thermostat
●Put on relaxing music
●Take a shower
●Create a to-do list for tomorrow
●Turn off electronics
●Do some night yoga
●Drink some chamomile tea
If you feel like your golf game isn’t the best, and it feels like it’s because you’re tired and lacking energy (both physical and mental), then chances are good it’s because of your lack of sleep.
Try incorporating some of the above ways into your daily life, and we bet that you’ll find your sleep improve, and your golf game, too!