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improve your sleep

Check out this blog for 10 Ways you can improve your sleep quality.

Sleep is essential. I’ve written a previous blog on the art of resting that you can find HERE.

  1. Start with a dark environment

– This sets us up for success through limiting the amount of light that comes in. Light as we will discuss a few times is a key variable that tells our body what to do! Light releases hormones such as cortisol to help us wake up! Try blocking all light that may be coming in such as technology lights from power outlets / phones and light through window cracks

2. Limit the technology

  • There are 2 main reasons we want to do this. The first, blue light. Blue light is a particular wavelength of light that stimulates your brain. When we are sleeping this isn’t ideal for a healthy night of sleep, try switching on a ‘blue light filter’ or purchase some blue light glasses or limit technology all together to enable the release of hormones such as melatonin (a key hormone in regulating your sleep cycle).
  • The second reason is for noise, stimulation and thoughts. Say you are scrolling through Facebook and you stumble across a breaking story, catchy news article or some people going at it in the comment sections. You may start reading this and get engrossed leading to you having more difficulties falling asleep!
  • Limiting the technology such as 2 hours before bed can help get you in the right frame of mind for falling asleep!

 3. Keep it cool!

  • It’s difficult to fall asleep in warm climates, naturally when we sleep our body temperature reduces, when we wake up it increases. If you find yourself too warm at night chances are you’ll have difficulty falling asleep.
  • Ideally, we set ourselves up in conditions of between 18-20* Celsius, this has been known to be an optimal sleep temperature for your environment.

4. Develop a bed time ritual

  • This is the process you will follow each night before bed. Having a plan of attack for falling asleep can make the process so much simpler. How many of you lay awake in bed staring at the ceiling struggling to fall asleep? Maybe you’ve had a busy day or consumed by thoughts. Take a lot of this away by following a routine when it’s bed time. This may look like having a shower / brushing your teeth, prepping your clothes for the next day / meals and then reading a book for 10-20 minutes before going to sleep. This will set you up for success as it teaches your body that you will be going to sleep!

5. Prioritise sunlight early in the morning

Getting up straight away and getting some sunlight is a great way to naturally tune your circadian rhythm (the thing that tells you when to sleep, and when to wake up). Sunlight early in the morning can be a great way to get over morning grogginess, stimulate blood flow to your muscles / joints and get some exercise in e.g., going for a walk!

6. Calm the mind!

The mind can be a key disruptor of sleep for some of us. Having thoughts about the previous day or the days to come can make you almost nocturnal!

Try strategies such as journaling, watching a comedy, setting time to reflect, meditation or grounding to enable you to calm the mind and have a healthy slumber.

7. Exercise!

Exercise can assist with sleep! One of the key ways is enhancing the time of deep sleep, this is a restorative and crucial part of our sleep. We often combine all our memories from the past day and find solutions during this part of our sleep.

Like any good thing there are some considerations to follow with exercise though. Such as not exercising too close to bed time, this can actually have a negative effect on our sleep as it can stimulate us, as well as overtraining which can wreak havoc on our nervous system and cause more issues with sleep. Try limiting exercise to 3-4 hours prior to bed time and ensure you moderate your training.

Want to find our more benefits of exercise? Check out my blog HERE.

8. Limit caffeine / stimulates after 12pm

Ever have coffee after 12? Chances are you are limiting your sleep quality. Caffeine in a stimulate, that has a half life of around 8 hours, meaning if you take it at 12pm you’ll still have some stimulatory effects at 8pm that night. Now if we take this later say 3pm you’ll now potentially be stimulated until 11pm. Too bad if you wanted to sleep at 10pm that night!

9. Leave being in bed for 2 activities

 Sex and sleeping.

  • How many of us lay in bed and watch TV or read emails or scroll through social media?
  • Our bed isn’t a lounge, try to keep these separate and leave bed time for the 2 activities above to teach your body the difference, again further adding to our bed time ritual. Just like we have clothes for work (uniform) and clothes for bed (pyjamas) try and keep your bed and lounge in the same frame of mind.

10. Spread your fluid out throughout the day

  • We need roughly 0.4g per kg of fluid, meaning if you are 100kg you will need 4 liters of fluid throughout your day. Spread this out, instead of trying to have a bulk amount all at once by drinking a ton of water. This will help prevent potential wake ups throughout the night keeping you awake for a quality sleep!

Often there are a number of factors that can influence our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you find yourself regularly struggling at nighttime then maybe it’s time to review your habits, nutrition, stress levels in order to start working towards a solution to a healthy night of rest!

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