Did you know that your sleep plays an important role in your ability to lose weight and burn fat?
When you are sleeping, your body repairs itself and all that hard work you put in at the gym starts taking shape on your body.
Exercising and eating healthy nutritious food is paramount, but it’s also super important to get a good night’s rest. Not only does sleep help your body recover, it also plays and important role in your immune system, hormone function, day to day performance and overall health and wellbeing. As you can see, getting a good night’s rest can physically and mentally improve your overall F.I.T. journey.
If you struggle with sleep, here are some of my top tips to help you sleep better.
1. Allow yourself time to unwind
I can be the worst for staying up to all hours of the night working and then wonder why when my head hits the pillow I can’t fall asleep. It’s important before you go to bed, to give yourself time to unwind from the day and relax. This will help you fall into a deeper, more regenerative sleep a lot quicker. Things like gentle stretching, reading a book, playing relaxing music or taking a bubble bath, are all great ways to let yourself unwind from a busy day and start to get sleepy for bed. It can be helpful to create a bedtime ritual that will signal to the body it’s now time to sleep. Also it's best to try and keep your sleep at a consistent time each night, to help regulate your body clock.
2. Make sure your sleeping space is clear from mess
Having a peaceful, clutter-free sleeping space to sleep is super important. Make sure that your sleeping environment is one that will allow you to rest and relax and that your bedroom is designed to allow your body to sleep. Have dark curtains, a comfy bed, good pillows and not too much clutter or mess. Another important point is to make sure you aren’t bringing any work into your sleep sanctuary. To help train your brain that the bedroom is for relaxing and sleeping, it’s important to keep your work out of it. Taking work into the bedroom like reading, replying to e-mails or even being on social media, can be extremely detrimental to a good night's rest.
3. Don’t have caffeine after midday
If you don’t sleep very well or find it hard to drift off to sleep but drink quite a bit of coffee during the day then it might be time to rethink your caffeine intake. Whilst caffeine in small doses can be okay for the body, excessive amounts can definitely make it hard to drift off to sleep, as well as effect the quality of sleep you get throughout the night. Most experts say don’t drink anything with caffeine in it after 2 pm, however I go for the midday rule. If you are a coffee person, then just stick to drinking it in the morning before lunch.
4. Stop looking at screens a couple of hours before bed
Just as it’s important to unwind before bed, you also need to remove yourself from screens a couple of hours before laying down. By screens I mean, T.V, computer and even your phone. That’s because the backlight on your electronics can prevent you from getting a good night’s rest. Studies have shown that the blue light restricts melatonin production, which is the chemical your body produces to give you a deep and quality sleep. Try to switch off your electronics and move away from the computer screen at least a few hours before bed. It can be hard I know, but your body will thank you for it.
5. Try sleepy teas
I’m all about natural herbs when it comes to health and fitness. If I need a good night’s sleep I like to go for a sleepy tea blend. There is something super comforting about sipping on hot tea just before bed. Things like chamomile, valerian, lavender, lemon balm and peppermint are all great herbs to help you drift off.
I hope some of these tips helped. Do you have any favourite sleep remedies? If so, leave me a comment below. I would love to hear them.