Do you feel like no matter how healthy you eat, try to stay active, or try to reduce stress and work on yourself, you just can’t seem to reach those goals? Frustrating, isn’t it?
Stop trying to blame yourself and start evaluating what might be stalling you from reaching those goals, whatever they may be.
One main problem is your sleep, especially the quality of your sleep which is affecting your health, wellness, and mental health.
Sleep affects everything in our bodies literally.
If you are not getting a night of good sleep, you could struggle with weight gain and find it harder to lose weight, even if you are eating healthy and exercising. Lack of sleep also messes with your metabolism and hormones, and if you are in midlife or menopause, you may notice problems sleeping as well. Not getting enough Zzzz has even been shown to decrease your body’s ability to build muscle, athletic performance, and recovery. Sleep is where your body recovers, heal, strengthens your immune system, keeps your brain healthy, improves mood, helps clean and get rid of body waste. And so much more. (1) (2)
Make sure to strive to get at least 7+ hours of sleep a night and make sure you are getting quality sleep, and you are not waking up alot at night.
Working on a bedtime routine an hour before you go to sleep can help you strive closer to getting better sleep.
So what is a Bedtime Routine?
This a routine you perform at least an hour before you go to bed every night that helps prepare you for sleep.
- It could be taking be warm bath (I love soaking in lavender epsom salt),
- Reading a book (not on a digital device) can help relax you and reduce stress. There have even been studies showing reading 30 min before bed or longer can help you fall asleep, improve the quality of sleep, and help you to be able to sleep for a longer duration. (4)
- Make sure to set up a sleep schedule by going to bed near the same time every night to set your body up with a natural circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle).
- If you feel you are always racing with thoughts, thinking about work, replaying your day, or feeling anxious. Start journaling or brain-dumping everything in your head at the moment during your bedtime routine. That way, you are getting everything out onto paper, so you do not bring it to bed.
- Performing light stretching or doing restorative yoga during your bedtime routine releases any tension or stress, promotes a sense of calm, and activates our “rest-and-digest” response, preparing us for a good night of sleep. Yoga Nidra, which is a meditative state of a deep relaxation type of yoga, affects melatonin levels and helps restore energy and calms the mind.
- Meditating, breathing exercises, and drinking chamomile or herbal tea will relax your body and mind. helping in aiding sleep.
- Make sure your bedroom is set at a cooler temperature, removed from any distractions or noises, and is dark. (3)
What should you AVOID for a good night’s Sleep?
Just like your bedtime routine preparing your body for sleep, you also need to be aware of things that will disturb your sleep and the quality of sleep.
- Avoid ALL Electronic Devices. Make sure you avoid any blue-light devices like your phone or smart tablets an hour before sleep or during your bedtime routine. that blue light floods your brain, tricking it into thinking it’s daytime. As a result, your brain suppresses melatonin, your circadian rhyme, and works to stay awake.
- Avoid Caffeine after 3 pm. Caffeine can disrupt your sleep for up to six hours after consuming it.
- Reducing or avoiding alcohol. Having 1-2 drinks in the evening can interfere with your REM sleep or deep sleep and have you waking up in the middle of the night at times, so your quality of sleep becomes poor. Try to avoid drinking alcohol 3-4 hours before you plan on going to sleep.
- Omit Large Meals Before Bed. Do not eat a large or heavy meal before bed, which makes it harder to fall asleep. If you must, eat a light snack containing protein, low-digesting carbs, and fat. Bananas with peanut butter or yogurt are a great snack, as bananas are rich in magnesium and have been found to increase melatonin significantly. Cherries are also a natural source of melatonin, and adding them with yogurt makes another great snack.
- Watch Liquids before Bed. Make sure to cut off water and liquids right before bed. Nothing is worse than waking from a good sleep a few times a night and running to the bathroom.
Here is What Happens When You Get Enough Sleep Each Day,
- Improves our mood and the ability to manage our emotions;
- Make us less impulsive (which helps us make better decisions..including foods choices);
- Boost memory, helps us learn and remember;
- Improves cognition, concentration, and attention;
- Keeps our brains healthy;
- Helps us lose fat and build valuable lean tissue like muscle and bone;
- Helps repair tissues;
- Helps regulates our blood sugar and lipids ;
- Several hormones are involved in sleep and circadian rhythmicity. Cortisol and melatonin are the two main hormones that regulate your sleep pattern. Sleep is a vital part of maintaining your metabolism and your hunger hormones (Leptin, Insulin, & Ghrelin). Your growth hormone levels are also increased during sleep. (5)
- Regulates our hunger, appetite, and satiety (which helps us make wise food choices, eat the right amount for our bodies, and eliminate cravings);
- Helps clean up and get rid of our body’s waste products
- Helps boost energy levels, athletic performance, and recovery
What happens when you don’t get enough sleep?
- Affects our emotional well-being, our cognitive abilities, and our physical health.
- Our mood (increased irritability, mood fluctuations, feeling low or depressed, blah)
- Lack of Motivation and feeling negative
- Less able to manage our feelings and behaviors
- Decrease performance at work, home, and exercise
- Unable to concentrate or focus and brain fog
- Drowsiness, low energy, and tired
- Compromising immune system
- Lack of willpower, cravings, and hunger increase
- Weight gain and problem losing weight
- Hormonal imbalances and changes in metabolism
- Prone to more injuries
- Risk of many health issues or diseases
“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” — Thomas Dekker
As you can sleep is extremely important in your overall health, wellness, and mental health. It is time to prioritize your sleep more, just like you do with your diet and physical activity.
If you need help with sleep, stress management, or any part of your Wellness, I can HELP! Book a FREE 30 min Breakthrough Coaching Call with me below!