You got to bed by 10 p.m. last night, and you felt like you must have logged close to 8 hours. Then why does going for a morning bike ride sound so horrible? Here are some of the reasons you may not be feeling your best in the morning and simple tips for a better night’s sleep.
3 Simple Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep
- Avoid screens before bed – Whether it be your smartphone, your laptop, or your kindle, using it before you try to sleep will put your sleep-cycle out of whack. These devices emit blue light, suppressing melatonin. Even if you can fall sleep, you are unlikely to sleep as soundly. A trick used by many is to remove all such devices from their bedroom, so they aren’t tempted.
- Watch what you drink before bed – This refers to both alcohol and caffeine. For alcohol, try not to have a “nightcap” before bed. You might think this helps you fall asleep faster. Even if that’s true, drinking within two hours of going to bed has been shown to prevent deep, restorative sleep. It also causes you to wake up sooner than you naturally would. In terms of a caffeine curfew, it depends on your sensitivity to the drug. Most studies say to cut it by 2 p.m.
- Give your bedroom a makeover – Most people don’t have bedrooms conducive to a good night’s sleep. Idealistically, you should set your thermostat to a chilly 65 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, do everything possible to prevent as many photons as possible from getting into your room. This means purchasing blackout curtains, unplugging/removing electronic devices, or simply wearing a sleep-mask.
Getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t have to be hard. It is essential, however, for getting the most out of each bicycle ride. If you want to be able to bike longer and more often without feeling drained, focus on getting better sleep using these tips.
Frederick M. Dudek is a cycling enthusiast and a San Diego personal injury attorney dedicated to bicycle safety and helping cyclists to avoid bicycle accidents. A cyclist with a better night’s sleep is a safer cyclist.