How many of us have noticed performance deficits after a poor night’s sleep? I know I have! Without a proper sleep schedule, our emotional, social and physical health decreases. Sleep is one of the most vital areas of our health and often times hits the back burner. It’s time to change that this year and put your body and mind at the top of your priority list. There are so many simple changes that can make all of the difference to your sleep routine and we’ve created a list of 6 of them below!
Try not to workout less than 2-3 hours before bedtime
Exercise can be a great way to tire your mind and body, allowing for a restful night’s sleep. However, there are many studies, including this one from Johns Hopkins, explaining that it can actually have the opposite effect. During exercise, our bodies release endorphins and increase in temperature, exciting the mind and body. If not scheduled correctly, exercise may leave you tossing and turning all night. This is why it’s extremely important to workout no less than 2-3 hours before you plan on going to sleep. Give your mind and body those few hours to lower to its normal temperature and completely wind down.
Download a sleep or meditation app on your phone
While you want to try and stay off of your phone as much as possible an hour or so before bed, there are many great, free applications available to help unwind for bed. Headspace is a great option for guided meditation, Pzizz has soothing, relaxing sounds that will lull you to sleep, and Relax & Sleep Well uses hypnosis to guide you into a deep sleep. These apps include sleep experts that have studied which sounds, meditations and hypnosis techniques that are sure to put you to sleep even after using a caffeinated supplement.
Choose a lower caffeinated pre-workout
Pre-workout is great for giving us an awesome pick-me-up at the gym, though the caffeine can begin to hinder our sleep schedule. This is one of the biggest reasons we created a pre-workout formula with less caffeine than leading brands! Red Leaf Pre-Workout only has 40mg of caffeine per serving, which gives you just enough of a boost to stay focused during your workout without giving you the jitters or keeping you wired all night. Our mission is to create healthy products that keep your balanced health in mind. If you’re not sleeping well because your pre-workout is keeping you up at night, consider trying a lower-caffeine alternative like Red Leaf Pre-Workout. Other tips to managing your caffeine intake include limiting your caffeine 4-5 hours before bed, reducing the number of energy drinks and coffees you consume throughout the day, or even replacing some of your caffeinated beverages with a lower-caffeine alternative, like Red Leaf!
Finish your meals 2 hours before bedtime
Many doctors suggest that eating before bed can increase acid reflux and indigestion, which is not only uncomfortable but keeps you awake. This article also states that having a meal before bedtime increases restlessness and disturbs our natural circadian rhythm. Simply put, try to finish all of your meals 2 hours before you get to bed. A light snack is completely okay, just try and limit the amount of sugar and caffeine. For example, a banana with peanut or almond butter is a perfect option!
Invest in a sound machine
Plain, white noise is a great background to calm your mind and get into a deep sleep, especially if you live in a loud, urban area. There are many options on the market so we have tried and tested many of them so that you don’t have to! Even though it’s the cheapest one we’ve selected, the Homedics White Noise Sound Machine has 6 soothing sounds that you can put on a timer. The Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan is a bit more expensive but the 20 unique sounds make it totally worth it. Lastly, the Hatch Restore is definitely an investment that will pay itself off in restful sleep; it has high tech bluetooth pairing to your smartphone, a sunrise light and an alarm.
Sleep in a comfortable, cool, dark space
This one might be self-explanatory, but important nonetheless. Ensure your sleeping space is around 68 degrees at night and as dark as possible. If sunlight seeps in through the windows, invest in a good eye mask to block the light and allow for a few extra hours of sleep. This one from MZOO is amazing and has over 25,000 five-star reviews on Amazon! You also want to be as comfortable as possible, which may include investing in a new mattress or a comfortable pillow. Everyone requires different environments to sleep so play around with what you like best.
We’ve all experienced a rough morning after we’ve stayed awake all night tossing and turning and it’s truly a horrible feeling. Don’t allow other aspects of your life to fall just because you can’t get to sleep. Invest in your health and sleep by purchasing a sound machine or a subscription to an application, it will be so worth it once you’ve had a great night’s sleep. Let us know which tips you followed and how they helped!