Nothing can stifle your adventure lifestyle like a lack of good sleep. And coffee can only take you so far. So do yourself a favor. Grab some of those all-too-valuable Zs by following these six easy tips to get better sleep for bigger adventures.
1. Get Some Exercise
This one seems obvious, but it’s not only the 15-mile run up your local mountain or century club ride that gets your body ready for bed. Even a thirty-minute walk through the park or a bike ride to the grocery store and back can get your muscles stretched and ready to rest. Take some time out of your busy day to move, to get outside, and that little light-bulb above your head each night will have no problem clicking off.
If you’re already in the backcountry, chances are you’ve already ticked this one off the list. Not to worry though, we’ve got some other tips.
2. Eat Light
Well… at least eat light before bed. For sleeping and sanitary reasons, avoid eating a full rack of ribs as you tuck yourself into the covers. All the energy produced from the food you eat just before you try to fall asleep will thwart your attempts to doze off. Instead, try a light-snack with a glass of water.
3. Enjoy the Day
If you haven’t already done it, do something that you’re proud of today. Read a new chapter, call to an old friend or out of touch family member, do anything to make progress that you can be proud of. Nothing brings sleep quicker then if it’s well earned.
If you have trouble recognizing your everyday progress, brainstorm before you go to bed, make a list, or challenge your partner to do the same and share accomplishments before going to bed each night. This accomplished feeling will help to set your mind at ease.
4. Go Sans Pajamas
While it isn’t always the case, sleeping with few layers or sometimes no layers at all can really make a difference. The best practice practice may be to wear base layers in a sleeping bag, but just like every rule, there are exceptions.
If your long underwear and socks are too form-fitting, you may be cutting off circulation. Additionally, if you become too warm and start to sweat, it’ll start to feel like your wearing wet clothes. This can sabotage your sleeping bag’s insulating efforts.
5. Pull the Plug
It’s hard not to imagine a time in our day when we are not attached to some form of technology. Phones, radios, iPads, smartwatches, GPS; the list goes on. There is a lot of stimuli that can keep our minds occupied. Before you put on the PJs (or lack thereof), pull the plug. Do yourself a favor and forget the clever tweets and clickable headlines, just lay back, relax, and know the next day is on its way.
6. Don’t Worry
It may seem counter-intuitive to the article itself, but one of the biggest things you can do for your best sleep is to try and not to think about it too much. Go to sleep when you’re tired and understand what you need to do to accomplish that. For some it’s meditation, others invest in earplugs for background noise, but the best thing you can do is listen to your body and follow the signs. Chances are, good sleep will be easy to find.