On Top of Your Game

We are security guards and maybe because of the uniform, people treat us like EMTs or the police and ask all kinds of questions related to safety, self-protection, and health. Recently, we even fielded a question about sleep. What is enough to improve one’s energy level and keep the body in tip-top shape? We thought the concern it wasn’t off the mark since a good night’s rest can increase reaction time in an emergency. We encounter tough situation all the time. We follow our own advice and get eight hours every night. So should you. Not only will it help fight off an assailant or allow you to think clearly in a pinch, but it will boost productivity at work or playing sports.

We can’t emphasize good sleep enough to our readers, although most people we encounter have some degree of insomnia. They toss and turn and clock only four or five hours at best. In discussing the problem, we find that everyone is on their mobile phone reading Twitter right before bed answering texts and emails. This will rev up your brain for sure. They don’t know about turning out lights immediately. Bathroom and hall lights will distract you from falling off. Eating before bed, or drinking a lot of alcohol, will impair your rest. Exercise is fine early in the evening as it will help tire you out; but running on your treadmill is a big no-no. These are just some tips to consider and we are sure there are plenty more. An important point is to avoid sleeping pills as they may interfere with normal sleep cycles and you can get dependent upon them. Melatonin is a safe over-the-counter alternative if you don’t take it forever. It is a short-term solution when you have had a hectic day and can’t let go.

People who take pills, even if they are prescribed by your doctor, find that they make more mistakes the next day. It takes a long time to clear a cloudy head. If this happens to you, the least you can do is cut your dose in half. If you suffer from regular tension and anxiety, I know you need help. Reading a bit before bed relaxes some people (or bores them) while it wakes up others. Try not to start an intense chat with your partner or spouse. Reciting affirmations or a mantra, while not true meditation, can trigger a relaxation response. You can learn to program yourself to fall asleep by doing the same action every night. You probably know that retiring at the same time is essential to quality sleep and is part of this automatic response I am talking about.

If nothing works, I wouldn’t scoff at a hot cup of milk or herbal tea. No caffeine allowed! This means soft drinks, too. While heavy drinking impairs sleep, a glass of wine at dinner will work wonders by eleven pm.

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