One of the most common challenges we encounter with the busy professionals we coach at our personal training center in Boston is lack of sleep.
Nights spent tossing and turning can be incredibly frustrating and lead to impaired attention and productivity the next day, increased sugar cravings, decreased immunity, and even depressed feelings.
The detrimental long term effects of sleep deprivation on our health are alarming. Studies have found that people who sleep less than 7-8 hours per night are at significantly greater risk of stroke and heart disease.
“Bottom line: Whether your goal is to increase your energy, lose weight, or improve your productivity, it’s clear that experiencing deep, restorative sleep is critical for looking and feeling your best.”
If you’re not getting enough quality shut-eye, try these 7 tips on our AUMazing sleep checklist.
Your body will thank you.
Keep it Cool – Because your body’s internal temperature drops about 4 hours after you fall asleep, scientists believe that keeping your bedroom cooler promotes better sleep since it mimics your natural rhythms. Studies suggest that the ideal room temperature is between 60-68 degrees F.
Keep it Dark – Small amounts of light can impair our body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin. According to research, the more time you spend on your cell phone during the day and especially at night, the longer it takes you to fall asleep while also interfering with your duration of sleep. By shutting down your cell phone 30 minutes before bed, keeping electrical devices away from your bed, and using dark shades/curtains, you’ll create the optimal environment to sleep like a baby.
Keep it Consistent – Since our body thrives on rhythm, going to bed and waking up around the same time each day is one of the best things you can do to improve your quality of sleep.
Keep out of the Kitchen – Aim to eat your last meal of the day a couple of hours before bed. Late night snacking can elevate your blood sugar and impair your body’s ability to experience deep, restorative sleep.
Keep the Afternoon Caffeine-Free- It can take hours for your body to fully metabolize caffeine. Consuming coffee or tea after the lunch hour can prevent you from being able to fall asleep at night. Choose caffeine-free beverages in the afternoon in order to set your body up for sleep success.
Keep it Essential – Essential oils possess many healing properties and, when it comes to sleep, lavender oil is incredibly beneficial because of its sedative effects. If you own a diffuser, you can inhale lavender oil before going to bed. Another option is to rub 3–5 drops of lavender oil directly on your neck, chest, and temples. You can also create relaxing sleep rituals that include taking a calming bath by adding 10-12 drops of lavender oil and 1 cup of Epsom salts to the bathtub.
Keep it Calming – You may be surprised to learn that insomnia is often a symptom of magnesium deficiency. Because magnesium is a calming mineral that helps the body reduce stress hormones, taking it before bed can help promote deep, restorative sleep. Take 100-200 mg in either tablet or powdered form 1-2 hours before going to bed.
These tips are just a small sample of the various ways in which you can improve your sleep. If you’d like to learn more about how you can optimize your lifestyle in order to reach your health, fitness, and weight loss goals, my Boston personal training team and I offer complimentary strategy sessions to begin designing a customized plan for you.
Click here to schedule your complimentary consultation.