A good night of sleep is arguably THE MOST underrated way to improve your overall health. Whether your goal is to get stronger, lose weight, or just feel better and live better, quality sleep is well advised.
One night of poor sleep can significantly decrease the likelihood of getting a workout in the next day and significantly increase food cravings and overeating. Obviously not an ideal combination!
On the flip side, one solid night of sleep can significantly increase your likelihood of completing a workout and increase your adherence to healthy eating habits.
I can’t make any of you go to bed early or prioritize sleep, but I can give you a few simple tips and tricks that may work well with your current bedtime routine. By incorporating one or more of these tips, you might improve your quality of sleep by at least 1 point on a scale of 0-10.
Here are 5 evidence-based sleep tips to sleep better tonight!
- Turn off electronics: Eliminating screen time for 1 hour prior to your intended sleep time will not only improve your quality of sleep, but it will also likely decrease sleep latency too (the time it takes you to fall asleep). Avoid TV, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other blue light emitting devices. Who knows, you might even pick up a habit you’ve always wanted to like reading more or meditating.
- Avoid alcohol consumption close to bedtime: Hello Happy hour! Seriously, you’re far better imbibing earlier in the evening vs. having that night cap. Alcohol can disturb your natural production of melatonin and other sleep inducing hormones. So while you may fall asleep quite easily, the overall quality of your sleep is going to be negatively affected.
- Optimize your bedroom environment: The bedroom is meant for two things…sleeping…and…use your imagination. The bedroom should be a quiet, clean, relaxing, and overall enjoyable place to be so that it helps you get into a mental state to sleep. Keep TV’s, laptops, phones, etc out of the bedroom if at all possible. One of the worst things you can do for your sleep is to watch TV or scroll through social media in bed. That environment gets linked to that habit. Your brain triggers the bed by playing on your phone and not sleep. Stick to the two things the bedroom is meant for.
- Breathe: Take 3-5 minutes before bed to close your eyes and just breathe. You can add stretching or mindfulness practices if you want, but they’re not necessary. Simply focusing on breathing can shift your brain from a stressed “fight or flight” state to a restful “rest and digest” state.
- Get outside: Being outside as much as possible does wonders for our sleep. By simply spending time outdoors, we can calibrate our bodies circadian rhythm. Optimizing your circadian rhythm will make it easier to fall asleep naturally at night and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed in the morning.
The benefits of sleep will forever outweigh the pros of staying up to watch one more episode of The Crown or looking at pictures of your aunt’s neighbor’s kid’s first day of school on facebook.
Sleep tight 🙂