By Chanell Bryant
We all know how important sleep is: It helps us function at our absolute best. It allows our body and mind time to recover and heal. It allows us to be focused and energized throughout the day. We are also all too familiar with how difficult it can be to get quality sleep, especially during challenging times. Take a minute to think about your sleep. Are you getting quality sleep? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you waking feeling rested and refreshed? If you answered no to any of these questions we’re here to help.
Things you can do TODAY to help improve your sleep:
- Exercise – Have you ever noticed on the days that you have a great workout, you sleep better too? This isn’t just a coincidence. Exercise has countless benefits including boosting immunity, managing metabolism, improving mood and cardiorespiratory function, the list goes on. All of these things help promote quality sleep.
Challenge yourself to get some sort of movement in today.
Tip: Try Power Hour’s home workouts or go for a vigorous walk/jog.
- Limit Caffeine – Nobody loves coffee as much as your 5am coaches. But it’s important for us all to limit our caffeine intake. Caffeine can actually take 10 hours to metabolize out of our bodies which, as you can imagine, affects your ability to fall asleep and the quality of sleep. Try to enjoy your cup of coffee in the morning and then stick to water for the rest of the day.
Tip: Add fresh lemon or frozen fruit to your water for a little boost!
Things you can do TONIGHT to help improve your sleep:
- Limit Screen Time – We’ve all heard it, avoid electronics before bed. It’s time to actually practice this because it really does have a huge impact on our quality of sleep. Time in front of electronics decreases REM sleep and affects the release of melatonin, which disrupts our sleep cycle. We also know the information we are viewing on our electronics (especially recently) can increase our stress and anxiety. This is the last thing we need before bedtime. Start with small goals. Avoid electronics 20 minutes before bedtime and then each week add 10 minutes. Work your way up to 1-2 hours. This will soon become a habit and improve your sleep drastically.
Tip: Replace screen time with reading a book, stretching, taking a bath, spending time with your family.
- Prep for the Next Day – Before bed, take some time to get ready for the next day. Lay out your clothes, pack your gym bag, prep your breakfast/lunch, etc. On top of all the physical prepping for the next day, take some time to mentally prep as well. So often when we finally get into bed, we start going through a list in our head of all the things that didn’t get done/need to get done. This can cause unnecessary stress when you’re trying to get some sleep. Instead, write down your list before getting into bed and then (this is key) erase them from your mind. No need to worry about them. You’ll get it done tomorrow.
Tip: After you write your to do list, take a moment to write down what you’re thankful for. Start to shift your focus from the things you need to do, to all that you’re grateful for. This will start to get you into a more relaxed mood.