Sometimes, particularly when we feel stressed or uneasy, getting enough sleep can seem impossible.
Research shows that poor sleep has immediate negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance, and brain function – it can also cause weight gain and increase disease risk in both adults and children.
In contrast, good sleep can help you eat less, exercise better, and be healthier!
Over the past few decades, both sleep quality and quantity has declined. In fact, many people claim that they regularly get poor sleep, but are we doing enough about it? And ow does a lack of sleep affect our workouts?
When it comes to your exercise routine, not getting enough sleep is not good for an athlete, weekend warrior, regular trainer or anyone frankly.
But how do you improve your sleep quality and how do you make sleeping well a habit? Much like your approach to training, you will need a plan. Here are some tips to include in your sleep routine:
This is the suggested recommended amount of sleep you should be aiming for. This number will help counter potential health risks from under-sleeping and will see you at your most productive. Squeezing an extra hour on top of that will also have a positive effect.
Listen to Your Body
If you’re constantly knackered throughout the day, can’t shake the morning grogginess or tend to oversleep at weekends, then you will have to look at your sleep routine and get to bed earlier or wake up a bit later. If your body isn’t functioning well, it’s literally telling you that you need more zzz’s
Movement during the day can help you sleep at night. Your training routine is likely helping you to sleep at night, so don’t give it up, just make sure you get yourself to bed at a reasonable hour so you can hit that magic 7hrs.
Bedtime means Bedtime
Keep the TV out of the bedroom, put the phone away from you and on silent, only have what you need to sleep in your bedroom. Perhaps invest in a blackout blind, don’t have any lights on after you close your eyes and make sure the room is quiet and not too hot. Perfect sleeping conditions.
If you use the bedroom for sleep and NOT TV/social media, you will be priming yourself to get some good quality zzz’s in.
Consistency is Key
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can make a huge difference to your sleep pattern. Consistency will help you stick to a new sleep plan and will help you get to sleep sooner over the long term. Constantly changing your bedtime and wake up time won’t help you settle into a routine.
Also, ensuring your bedroom is nice and cool will really help – this is more challenging in the summer months, but definitely worth investing in a fan or air cooler to help you drift off.
Bin the Nightcap
Caffeine and alcohol have a negative impact on your sleep. Put down the Espresso Martini and you’ll be a step closer to sleeping well. Try and limit caffeine intake and aim to stop drinking it way before 3pm.
You could also use any number of the fitness trackers that are out there. The technology is improving all the time and the data is getting more accurate. You don’t have to spend a fortune…
With these tips you are on your way to better sleep, a more positive outlook, more productive days and better sessions in the gym or on the track. We know the importance of training, so if early mornings are your only time to train, make sure you get to bed earlier to compensate.
If you’d like to discuss your habits with us and want to work towards improving them and in turn, improving your sleep – we’d be happy to help.
Goodnight and sleep well.