10 tips to improve your sleep
It seems to be an epidemic of people having difficulty sleeping. In order to help you discover some methods that could assist you falling asleep and staying asleep through the night, Natasha Atkinson has written her top 10 tips for improving your sleep.
Natasha has been in the fitness industry for two decades and understands the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. It’s through this commitment to fitness and living a healthy lifestyle that she expresses her passion and gets her clients to reach their full potential. She enjoys training clients of all fitness levels. She especially enjoys working with women to help them overcome the many barriers they face in their pursuit of fitness. Her certifications include Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 1 and Exercise Coach from the C.H.E.K.Institute, National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and American Council on Exercise (ACE) Personal Trainer certifications.
In today’s fast paced world with so much to do and so little time, one of the things that seem to go is not only the amount of sleep we get but also the quality of sleep. Ideally, your body needs 8 hours of sleep a night. If you don’t think a little lack of sleep can derail your fitness goals read this article from LIVESTRONG. COM, entitled Sleep: Good for the Brain and the Belly. By implementing one or more of these simple steps, you may be able get a good night sleep and not have to fight the battle of the belly bulge.
Develop a bedtime routine. A pre-sleep ritual will help with the transition from a busy day to a restful night. Start 15-20 minutes before, dim the lights, take a hot shower, or enjoy some light reading. This done consistently will send the signal to the brain that it is time to wind down.
Use the bedroom for sleep and sex. Keep the bedroom dark and quiet. If you must have some noise, opt instead for soft sounds. Keep the laptop, TV and cell phone out. The bright lights and distractions from these will only serve to disrupt sleep, causing you to stay wake. Instead of an overhead light, try a low watt bulb.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol may make you fall asleep but it also causes you to wake a few hours later. A cup of decaffeinated herbal tea can be more soothing and less disruptive.
Limit caffeine. Studies show that it can stay in your system for up to 8 hours, causing you to toss and turn through the night. Restrict the caffeine to morning hours and definitely nothing after 3 PM.
Get regular exercise. Aside from the benefits, of both mental and health, exercise can also make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. The timing and intensity can play a key role in its effect on sleep find a time is best for you.
Restrict nicotine. Although it feels relaxing it is actually puts a stimulant into the body. The effects of nicotine are similar to those of caffeine. It should be avoided near bedtime or if you wake through the night.
Keep pets off the bed. This is the perfect time for you to give your pet a bed of their own. They often cause you to wake through the night either from pet allergies or from movement.
Heavy meals. Eating a heavy meal or a sweet snack will make falling asleep more difficult. Choose a more balanced snack, mixing foods that contain tryptophan (which promote sleep) with a carbohydrate.
Manage stress. If anxiety from the day is keeping you awake, focus instead on turning negative thoughts into positive ones before heading to bed. Meditation or essential oils can have a powerful effect on creating a positive mood.
And lastly, if after 20-30 minutes, you are unable to fall asleep, get up and try a low key activity with dim lights until you start to feel sleepy. Tossing and turning will only add to your frustration.
Done consistently, these tips will have you off to a good night’s sleep in no time.