Living in Maryland for the past few weeks has meant the sound of cicadas. This isn’t my first round of 17-year cicadas but I don’t remember them being this loud last time! According to my decibel reader, we’re hanging out between 90-100....about the sound of a motorcycle. All day.
Thankfully, they quiet down at night time.... (and only a few more weeks before they burrow into the ground again!)
This brings me to my topic today: HOW TO GET A GREAT NIGHT OF SLEEP
One of the top things that can get in the way of your weight loss results … is getting enough quality sleep. It can affect your mood, stress, appetite, hormone levels, and recovery … among many other things!
Let’s 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!
Meditate after work which will allow your brain a chance to process the stressors of the day so it doesn’t interfere with your sleep
When you get a good night of sleep, it can set you up for having a great day. When we don’t get good quality sleep, we’re more likely to binge eat, have cravings for sugary and salty foods, crave all the fried things, and not have the energy to workout.
Sleep is an important part of our overall health and wellness and it’s one of the focus areas in my online coaching program. You can eat all the right foods, exercise, and manage stress, but if you aren’t sleeping, you will struggle with weight gain and not hit your weight loss goals. I’m interviewing potential clients now for my online coaching program, click here to schedule a FREE consult!