How to improve your sleep.
Many of us underestimate the benefit of a good night’s sleep.
We seem to think we can function on 5 hours a night then back it up with a full day of work, week in and week out.
We ask so much of our bodies the least we could do is make sure we get adequate rest and recovery, so we stay healthy and functioning at our best.
Some quick tips on how you can improve your sleep.
- Increase your exposure to bright light during the day – enjoy natural sunlight, it will improve energy, and the quality and quantity of your sleep.
- Don’t consume caffeine too late in the day – having caffeine too late in the day can stop you sleeping at night. Aim to have your last coffee in the early afternoon not after 3pm to help improve your sleep.
- Decrease your exposure to blue lights in the evening – too much light at night can reduce your melatonin levels, making it harder to get to sleep. Avoid using your phone, laptop and iPad at night. Or install an app that reduces blue light exposure.
- Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day – Irregular sleeping patterns can result in poor sleep. For better long-term sleep, be consistent in when you go to bed and get up, this will help your natural circadian rhythm.
- Consider supplements that may help –
Melatonin – produced naturally by the body. It helps you fall asleep faster with no nasty side effects. Useful to combat jet lag as well.
Magnesium – can be taken orally or you can have an Epsom salt bath.
Valerian root – may help you fall asleep faster as well.
- Change your bedroom set up – things like temperature, noise and external lights can affect sleep. Use blackout blinds to make the room like a cave. Get rid of external lights from alarm clocks and televisions. Try to reduce noise as much as you can. Use on old fashioned alarm clock and leave your phone in another room, turn off your Wi-Fi as well.
- Eat carbs at night – adding carbs to your evening meal can help promote better sleep.
- Try to chill out and relax in the evening – take an Epsom salt bath (the magnesium helps promote good sleep), read a book, listen to music, have a massage, do some stretching.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol as it can interrupt your sleep.
- Make sure you have a good mattress and pillow – There is nothing worse than not being able to sleep because your mattress is old, and your pillow is lumpy. Investing in these things can also help with reducing back, neck and shoulder pain and help promote a better night’s rest.
- Exercise regularly – Getting into regular exercise can help promote better sleep and health overall, although training late at night can leave you wired and stop you from falling asleep.
Why do I need to improve my sleep?
Well if weight loss is your goal, better sleep helps you lose weight, stay healthier and decreases carb cravings.
Poor sleep –
Can lead you to you feeling hungrier than normal.
Can lead to you eating more than you normally would.
Can cause you to crave higher calorie and food.
Leaves you less energetic and reduces your overall energy expenditure.
Combine less movement with more food and you can see why losing weight is such a battle.
Something to think about