Hot topic alert today! It’s all about getting a GREAT NIGHT OF SLEEP.
One of the top things that can get in the way of reaching your health & fitness goals … is getting enough quality sleep. It can affect your mood, stress, appetite, and recovery … among many other things!
In keeping with our “clean it up” approach to sleep, I want to talk about simple upgrades you can make to streamline your nighttime routine that can actually help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer!
Here are some science-backed tips from the National Institutes of Health:
● Keep your evening routine simple – go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Your body loves having a regular daily rhythm and routine!
● Don’t work out within 2-3 hours of bedtime. This can leave you feeling “revved up” and make it harder to fall asleep.
● Don’t eat close to bedtime, and steer clear of alcohol after dinner. Alcohol might help you fall asleep, but you can get stuck in the “light sleep” phase all night.
● No afternoon/evening caffeine. Did you know it can take 8 hours for caffeine to clear your system?
● Check your meds & herbal home remedies. Some meds (especially for coughs, colds, and allergies) contain ingredients that stimulate your system.
● Take a hot bath or shower before bed. When your body temp drops afterward, it can help you feel sleepy.
● Stay away from blue light from TV, phone, or other devices within a couple hours of bedtime. If you do use a device, install a blue light filter (tip: check your tablet/phone to see if there’s one already built-in).
● Spruce up your bedroom. Make sure it’s uncluttered and free from distractions – lights, noises, etc. – and that your bedding is comfortable. Sleeping in a clutter-free zone can make a surprisingly big difference.
● Make a to-do list for tomorrow. Write down anything you’re worried about forgetting overnight as a quick reminder, and place it far away from your nightstand (so you don’t have to think about it anymore).
Cleaning up your nighttime routine can go a LONG way toward improving your sleep...
But there are things you can do earlier in the day that can help, too. Two big items:
● Get some sunshine & fresh air during the day, if at all possible.
● Make sure to get in intentional movement (i.e., exercise) most days of the week!
When you get a good night of sleep, it can set you up for having a great day. Plus, it’s good for your overall recovery and wellness!