You may not think sleep and cycling have much to do with each other, but that could not be further from the truth. Not only is sleep how your body recovers and prepares for the next day’s ride, but cycling can actually help you sleep better at night.
It’s just as important to avoid doing the wrong things before going to bed as it is doing the right ones. Here are the 6 most important things to do for the best sleep possible.
The emails and Instagram posts can wait until the morning. The bright screens and never-ending tasks on your smartphone can be too stimulating before bed, changing your body’s internal clock and therefore making it tougher to fall asleep. While disconnecting from the television or your smartphone an hour before bed is best, 30 minutes may be more realistic for most people.
For at least a half hour before going to bed, try to avoid bright lights. Dim your office lights if you absolutely must be working this close to bedtime, and kill the unhealthy flourescent ones. Why? Because even 5 minutes of white light from a screen suppresses melatonin levels, by more than 50 percent. Melatonin, levels in the blood rise sharply and you begin to feel less alert in the evening, and sleep becomes more inviting.
Think of a good night of sleep as a seven- to eight-hour fast. Since you usually won’t be consuming any food or liquid during the night, prime your system by drinking a pint of water before you go to bed. Drinking before bed helps promote healthy hydration, and it also works as an appetite suppressor to help control late-night cravings.
Do not exercise
You should not exercise for at least 2 hours before going to bed, unless you count restorative yoga and breathing exercises.
In general, don’t drink coffee after 2:00 p.m. or at least 8 hours before bedtime, whichever comes first. This will make sure you get all of the cognitive benefits of caffeine without sacrificing your sleep.