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5 Simple Tips For A Better Sleep

No matter what my client’s goals are, sleep is always the first thing I will look at. Poor quality and quantity of sleep can affect so many aspects of a person’s day-to-day life. Physical performance such as strength and power can be affected, reaction times, the ability to make quick decisions, strategy and cognitive thinking, weight management, and mood to name a few. A general guideline for an average person would be to get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night.


  1. Get into a routine. The body’s internal clock and hormones that control sleepiness and wakefulness work best if there’s a regular sleep routine. You should know when it’s bedtime each night as you will feel sleepy around this time that your body has linked with bed. To help with this, try to have a wind-down hour before bed that doesn’t include any stimulating activities such as moderate exercise, video games, TV, phones, etc. Instead, get used to relaxing by reading quietly, having a warm non-caffeinated drink, a hot bath, or do some stretching.


  1. Avoid caffeine in the evening. This is not limited to tea and coffee but includes soft drinks such as cola etc. Caffeine is a stimulant and stays in the body hours after being consumed so it’s best to keep caffeine to earlier in the day.


  1. Avoid bright lights. The blue light from a computer or phone can reduce the evening levels of melatonin (sleep-promoting hormone). At the very least if you cannot put your phone down, most phones now have a ‘night mode’ option which reduces the blue light that is emitted so be sure to turn this function on.


  1. Avoid going to bed on a full or empty stomach. I find that a small snack such as a small bowl of oats is perfect for me before bed if it has been a few hours since my dinner.


  1. Don’t force it. If you have been in bed 20-30 minutes and haven’t fallen asleep, get up. Go to another room but don’t turn on the TV; just go sit in a separate room with dim/no lights. When you feel tired enough to sleep, go back to bed. This helps the mind link sleep with bed. Don’t look at the clock! You will have an emotional reaction no matter what time it is.Try these tips and let me know if they help!

Did you know that sleep deprivation is associated with increased cortisol (stress hormone) levels which has been linked to obesity. Additionally, insufficient sleep can impair your metabolism of food.