10 Ways To Improve Your Sleep

In the past few years the importance of sleep has really come to light as a big part of overall health. In many ways it's just as important as nutritious movement and eating properly.

Unfortunately our western environment has adopted the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead attitude” to get more work done, check emails or browse facebook.

Poor sleep has been linked to stronger food cravings, dysfunctional blood sugar regulation and decreased willpower around foods.

Poor sleep negatively impacts glucose metabolism and increases risk of neurological decline, obesity, hypertension, suppressed immune function, premature aging and thyroid dysfunction .

Those who get better sleep tend to eat fewer calories throughout the day because of the regulation of hormones that control appetite.

Sleep helps to improve athletic performance, concentration and productivity as well as boosting immune function and contributing to fat loss.

When we sleep more we spend longer in an anabolic state with the hormones circulating that build muscle in turn burning more fat.  

This guide is meant to help you get better sleep with less effort and to help you reap the health benefits of that quality sleep.

 

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1.) Avoid Caffeine Past Noon (12:00PM)

As much as we feel like that afternoon cup of coffee keeps us get through the rest of the work day it comes at cost.

Caffeine too close to bedtime negatively impacts the bodies ability to reach the restorative sleep stages, and can make falling asleep more difficult as well. 

Even those who are caffeine non responders and can fall asleep right after a cup of coffee do not reach the deep restorative levels of sleep necessary to improve health.

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2.) Exercise At Least 2 Hours Away From Your Bedtime

Exercise has proven to improve sleep, but when done too close to bedtime it puts the body in an overly alert stage.

The goal is to be winding down and relaxing as it gets later in the evening. When exercising we release adrenal hormone cortisol associated with the fight or flight response.

Cortisol  is supposed to be low at night to help promote sleep and high in the morning to promote wakefulness. We raise cortisol when exercising, making it more difficult to calm down and sleep.

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3.) Eat Your Last Meal 2 Hours Prior To Sleep

Digestion is an energy intensive process that takes a while to complete. During sleep our energy needs to be used for physical and mental restoration and repair from the day.

Your brain actually goes through a detoxification process when you sleep. 

This is a tip that will be highly individual, as some folks sleep better with a snack right before bed while others need to have any empty stomach. 

When we eat too close to bedtime, you may be able to fall asleep just fine, but the body is not allowed to allocate the energy needed to the restorative and detoxification processes.  

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4.) Steer Clear Of Stressful Activities Before Bed

You should have an end time at night for work Email,calls,texts and any stressful activity that could potentially make you feel stressed. 

By avoiding stress before bed you keep cortisol low which allows your body to get into a normal circadian rhythm.

This habit also helps to minimize screen time blue lights  and allows you to wind down into your nighttime routine as well.

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5.) Avoid Blue Lights At Least 1-2 Hours Prior To Bed

Blue lights are emitted from your laptop, smartphone, iphone, kindle, Ipad and TV. The blue light emitted from these devices interrupts the production of a crucial sleep hormone melatonin.

If you absolutely need a TV or Laptop to work late at night or want to  relax and wind down you can get the computer program f.lux free or purchase blue blocker glasses.

f.lux is a program  that dims the blue lights on your computer. Blue blocker glasses block the blue light from devices and allows proper melatonin production. These can be found on amazon for $10-15. I use both f.lux and blue blocker glasses.

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6.) Remove All electronics From The Bedroom

The last thing you need is a text message sound or an incoming call when you are in the middle of a good night sleep. These electronics are just distractions and the light and sounds from them will negatively impact sleep.

Unplug or remove them from the bedroom.

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7. ) Black Out Your Room

We are supposed to sleep in total darkness, not with street lights creeping into our rooms and cell phone text messages interfering with our sleep.

Cover your windows to make sure that no light gets in the windows. It may seem weird but your sleep quality will dramatically improve with this one step.

If you are not able to blackout your room get a sleep mask.I chose to black out my room a few years ago and will never go back, babies don’t sleep this well.

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8.) Develop A Nighttime Routine To Wind Down

As you start to develop these habits stack them on top of each other and over time develop a nighttime routine that will allow for better sleep.

This routine will start to signal to your body that it is time to relax and get ready for sleep. Some common things in night time routines:  Put away all electronics, Take a hot shower, Read a relaxing book, drink some herbal tea, Have sex, Stretch or foam roll.

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9.) Supplement With Magnesium (Magnesium)

My favorite brand is called Natural Calm it comes in a powder form that you put in 4-8 ounces of water and drink 30-60 minutes before bed.

Magnesium helps with the relaxation of muscles, and helps with stress to allow better sleep.  Natural Calm is magnesium citrate which means it is also going to pull water to the bowels, so if you end with loose stools or an upset stomach back off on the dosage.

Natural Calm is a crucial part of my nighttime routine and helps me relax before bed.

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10.) Get To Bed By 10:30

We all have  natural sleep cycles that our body passes through to repair and restore us physically and mentally.

The longer we are asleep the more sleep cycles our body goes  through.The less time we are asleep the less mental and physical restoration we allow ourselves.

By going to bed at 10:30 we can still enjoy our night and make the most out of our sleep while waking up feeling refreshed the next day.

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.

 

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