We can be great at managing our diet and our training schedule but there is one area that a lot of us fall down in that can impact our performance or ability to shed the pounds, sleep. You may be someone who only needs 4 hours or even 9 to feel well rested, and while there are many factors we cannot control there are some things we can put in place to ensure we get the best quality sleep possible.
The recommended amount of sleep for an adult is between 7-8 hours each night. By going to bed and getting up each morning at the same time every day you can train your body into a good cycle. Don’t worry about adding an extra hour on for the Sunday sleep in!
If you struggle to fall asleep at night, it is best to get up and leave the room, read or listen to calm music and then go back to bed when you feel tired.
Keeping a healthy, low fat diet will benefit your sleep greatly. Don’t go to bed hungry or feeling particularly full either as this may make you feel uncomfortable going to sleep and impact on your sleep quality.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine just before bed time also, while you might not have difficulty falling asleep it will impact on the quality of the sleep you get and in turn leave you feeling lethargic.
Our environment can have a huge impact on our sleep-wake cycle, the ideal space would be a cool, dark, and quiet room. Avoiding screens at least an hour before bedtime would be the ideal. Switch out the TV, laptop or mobile for reading a book/magazine, taking a bath or a bit of meditation to help you switch off.
If your schedule allows for it, many of us don’t have the luxury but a quick 15 minute nap can boost our energy levels, and help our body to repair from training and exercise.
Avoid napping late in the day, unless you work night shifts.
5. Stress management
Stress is a common issue today for many people. There are a few things we can do to help ourselves relax such as getting more organized, prioritizing tasks, and practicing breathing techniques to reduce anxiety.
The less stressed we are going to bed the better quality of sleep we can get, which in turn will give us more energy to take on the day ahead.