How do you score in bed? Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t just nutrition and exercise, sleep quality is essential and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more. Research suggests that 8 hours of sleep per night is ideal – but how many hours rest to you get?
Consistency Is Key
Set yourself a schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every night/morning will, in turn, keep your biological clock ticking. A regular pattern of natural light and darkness will also help your sleep quality – try watering your outdoor plants in the morning, this will keep your body in sync with the day.
Exercising, if done properly, improves the length and quality of your sleep – try yoga, pilates or LISS training. Due to high-intensity training elevating your core temperature for approximately 4 hours post exercise, it can inhibit your sleep. Eventually, your body will cool down, sending signals to your brain to release melatonin ( a sleep-inducing hormone), making you drowsy – therefore it’s key to time your training around bedtime. If you’re planning a HIIT workout, exercise in the morning.
Don’t worry, we don’t mean cut caffeine completely – that would be ridiculous! As you may already be aware, caffeine is a stimulant which stays in your system for approximately 8 hours – maybe that post-lunch americano isn’t the best idea. Due to this, we recommend cutting caffeine from your diet after 2 pm, or chose decaffeinated beverages.
You may think a deep-sleep is the alternative “off-switch” but it’s more like slowly easing your foot off the gas. Allow your body time to relax. Why not try a gentle yoga session before you hit the sack and keep your mind at ease, try deep breathing and reduce any muscle tension without revving up your heart rate. There are plenty of ways to relax and every individual is different, why not try deep breathing techniques, stretches or reading a book before lights out.
Consuming a heavy meal before bed isn’t the best idea, although there are specific foods which help you snooze. Whole wheat pasta with fresh vegetables, diced chicken breast, tomato sauce and a dash of parmesan is awesome – trust us! This snooze friendly combination of protein and tryptophan induce serotonin levels – perfect before you hit the sack.