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 your 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!
Heads up, I’ve got some controversial news for you today – but hang with me! “Moderation” is one of the biggest buzzwords in wellness right now. But guess what? It doesn’t work …Because almost everyone does it wrong. The fact is, what looks like “moderation” to one person might be something completely different for someone else. For food, your definition of “moderate” can depend on what you grew up eating, your current eating habits, or even your mood.
If you’ve ever had a stressful day (or year!) that affected your eating habits, you are NOT alone. In a study, more than 75% of adults said that stress played a role in their eating during the past month. This included overeating, eating junk foods, or not eating. Many of them said it happened weekly. They also said it made them feel sluggish, lazy, disappointed in themselves, and/or irritable.
Last week I posted about jumping off the health/fitness/weight loss/etc. rollercoaster and finding a plan that works for YOU and your life! Doesn’t it just feel good when you get into a groove that you can actually stick with? (If you haven’t yet, hang with me, I’ve got a helpful tip for you below.) It’s a little mindset/organizing hack … And it’s something to think about when you get sidetracked, overwhelmed, or aren’t sure what to do next.
Have you ever been here before? Something sparked you to set a new fitness goal that you were REALLY excited about. Maybe you stepped on the scale after the holidays, had a big event coming up (reunion, wedding, vacation, etc.), were unhappy with the results from your latest doctor’s visit, watched an inspiring movie, were wowed by someone else’s transformation, or even had some kind of wake-up call…