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Benefits of Ice Bath in Improving Sleep plus Other Sleep Hacks

Updated: Apr 5

Have you ever wondered how fixing your sleep could be a game-changer in your life? I sure did. When I improved my sleep, it transformed everything for me. I had more energy, made better decisions, and my business saw improved performance and profitability. Plus, my mood at home became significantly better. In this video, I'm excited to share with you what worked for me, so you can experience these benefits too.

On average, it's advisable to aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. I find 8 hours to be ideal for me. There was a time when I was younger, when the motto "work hard, play hard" was a thing. We used to take pride in partying all night and then showing up at the office at 7 o'clock in the morning, without fully comprehending the toll it takes on our bodies, and the potential long-term consequences. Nevertheless, as we age, wisdom gradually dawns upon us.

Now, let's dive into the reasons behind sleep issues, excluding medical factors. Why do seemingly healthy people struggle with sleep? Of course, if there's an underlying medical problem, you should consult your doctor first.

Stress: Everyday stressors, like work pressure, family issues, or financial concerns, can lead to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Stress can be a sleep killer!

Poor Sleep Habits: Irregular sleep schedules, excessive screen time before bed, and neglecting sleep hygiene practices can mess with your sleep patterns. Your bedtime routine matters!

Diet and Eating Habits: Eating heavy meals, drinking alcohol or consuming caffeine too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep.

Insufficient physical activity can result in restless sleep. Typically, when our mind is more fatigued than our body, falling asleep can be a challenge. This is especially pertinent for individuals with sedentary office jobs.

Environmental Factors like noise, light, temperature, and an uncomfortable mattress can all sabotage your sleep.

Electronic Devices: Those screens emit blue light that messes with your melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep. In addition, what you watch really matters. If it is something that excites you, you are going to have a hard time falling asleep. 

Long daytime naps can throw off your nighttime sleep schedule.

Anxiety and Worries: Everyday concerns can keep you up at night. Sometimes, worrying about sleep itself becomes a problem.

Now, let's get to the game-changer that transformed my sleep quality - ice bath & cold exposure, but with a twist that I will explain. Then I will go over all other aspects that helped improving my sleep.

Now, all you need to do is to take an ice bath or a cold shower a few hours before bedtime. If you are new to cold exposure and want more in-depth info, feel free to explore my other blogs on the benefits of ice bath.

However in summary, the water should be cold enough to give you an initial shock, making you want to jump out instantly, but then hold on for a minute or two. Gradually increase the duration as you get used to it.

But why does ice bath works wonders for sleep and where do the benefits come from? '

Thermoregulation: Cold plunge can help regulate your body temperature, which is essential for falling asleep and staying asleep. Cooling your body before bedtime can mimic the natural drop in core body temperature that occurs during the evening, signaling to your body that it's time to sleep.

Improved Sleep Onset: Cold exposure can help you fall asleep faster as it constricts blood vessels, making you feel drowsy.

Enhanced Sleep Quality: Many cold enthusiasts, myself included, experience deeper and more restorative sleep. The cooling effect reduces nighttime awakenings.

Now, here's the twist I mentioned earlier; Ice bath initially activates your "fight or flight" response, releasing epinephrine & norepinephrine. This increases alertness and heart rate. However, with time and adaptation, it leads to relaxation and improved mood, creating what we call the "cold-shock response." It can make you feel tired, especially when done in the evening. To enhance that tired feeling, finish with a warm, not too hot, shower. You want your core temperature to stay cool but leave with a nice & relaxed feeling. However, If you're doing ice bath in the morning for an energy boost, you can finish with cold water, dry off, and get going.

Cold exposure tackles many sleep apnea triggers, such as stress, anxiety, and even the lack of physical activity, as similar chemicals are produced in the body, though regular exercise is unbeatable.

Now, let's address other hacks that can fix your sleep:

Consistency: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Consistency helps regulate your body's internal clock.

Sleep Hygiene: Create a comfortable sleep environment by keeping your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows. Use blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out light. Consider using white noise machines or earplugs to mask disruptive sounds. In fact, I admit, I have been sleeping with ear plugs for most of my adult life. Adjust the room temperature to a comfortable level, not too cold, not too hot.

Reduce screen time an hour before bedtime. If you can't resist, at least do not go through your social media pages or messages. Watch something relaxing in night mode, yellow light setting with dimmed brightness.

Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime. Try to eat your last meal 4 hours before bedtime. Let your stomach relax before sleep.

Regular exercise is great to create that drowsy feeling when bedtime comes. However, do not exercise right before bed. Give your body time to wind down.

If you need a daytime nap, keep it short (20-30 min max) and not too close to bedtime.

The more of these habits you adopt, the better your sleep will be. Remember, good sleep can transform your life.

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