You’ve set yourself some goals and started making better daily choices – So what’s next in your journey to get fit? Making sure that you get enough sleep.
Good health and good sleep are inextricably linked. Not only does a good night sleep improve your memory, productivity, and mood, it can also improve fitness performance, and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. When it comes down to it, sleep is as important as food and exercise when it comes to creating a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
So, without further ado, here are my top sleep tips, learned from books, years of experience, and many conversations with doctors.
Food – Try to avoid eating too close to bedtime. It can keep you awake or cause tossing and turning. You also want to avoid super spicy or highly acidic foods in your final meal of the day. If you can finish eating an hour or two before bedtime, that’s ideal.
Caffeine & Sugar – Everyone has different sensitivities to caffeine and sugar, but even if you don’t think they impact your sleeping patterns, they can hurt your quality of sleep.
Fitness – Getting your sweat on during the day is a great way to ensure that your body is fatigued, which will aid the falling asleep process. If you have a busy day or you’re traveling and can’t make it to the gym, a quick walk outside or a stretching session on your bedroom floor can help.
Lights – Our bodies are programmed to equate darkness with bedtime, so you want to start reducing your exposure to light as you wind down for bed. That means dimming overhead lights and turning off TVs, phones, and laptops. If you use your phone or a tablet to read in the evenings, download a red light app. These will give your screen a darkened, reddish hue and eliminate the blue light that stimulates your body and can keep you awake.
Routine – Our bodies crave routine when it comes to sleep so you should try to go to sleep at the same time each night. If you go to sleep at 9pm one night, 1am the next, and then 11pm the following night, your body doesn’t know when it’s supposed to sleep. Try to develop a consistent sleep routine. One thing that can help with that is creating an evening wind down routine to help you destress and prepare for bed – Calming Night Routine.
What’s YOUR top tip for getting good sleep?