Snooze or Lose
Our body does so much for us each and every day. From moving when we workout, to digesting the food we eat, and all the way down to each and every process that needs to happen on a cellular level – the human body is a fascinating machine, capable of so much.
So what is the single most important thing we can prioritize to keep our machine working at peak performance? How do we allow our body to rest so it can function at the level we need it to? Yep, you guessed it, SLEEP! And not just any sleep; good quality restful sleep.
🐑 SLEEP 🐑
When and how much is always simple. It is in the execution that most people slip.
The goal is to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. This does not mean 7-9 hours in bed. There is a difference. So if you get into bed at 9pm, but don’t fall asleep until 10pm, then getting up at 6am, gives you 8 hours! Right in the sweet spot!
But hang on. Did you spend 1 hour scrolling through social media? Did you watch a few episodes of “Friends” until you fell asleep? Did you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom? Did you toss and turn throughout the night?
The goal is 7-9 hours of quality, restful, and uninterrupted sleep (easier said than done). This will require a good, consistent bedtime routine. Here’s the best way to get into that sleepy time groove:
And if you’ll be looking at electronics in the 1-2 hours before bed, wear blue light blocking glasses so your brain can prepare for bedtime and send you off to sleep right when you lay down. According to the Sleep Doctor:
Blue light is uniquely disruptive to sleep and circadian rhythms.
It’s not that any and all exposure to blue light is harmful. It’s that our constant exposure to digital screens and bright nighttime environments makes us consume way too much blue light—and doing so at the at very worst times for sleep.
- Studies show blue light aggressively inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone that is a central regulator of circadian rhythms and also is essential for sleep. Research shows blue light suppresses melatonin for more than twice as long as other visible light wavelengths—and alters circadian rhythms by twice the degree.
- At the same time blue light inhibits melatonin, it also stimulates the production of cortisol, a major stress and alerting hormone that interferes with sleep.
- Exposure to blue light shortens sleep time and leads to more awakenings throughout the night, resulting in less refreshing sleep and more fatigue the next day.
If you think blue light blocking glasses is wacky hippy stuff, I challenge you to get a pair on Amazon, try it for a few nights, and tell me you didn’t have incredibly restful sleep. If I’m wrong (which I’m not), you can always return them. 😉
Early dinner for the WIN! If your body is busy digesting your dinner, it will be harder to down regulate and get a deep sleep. Aim to wrap up dinner an hour or two before bedtime. The earlier the better!
I know, I know. Hear us out though! It takes 10-12 hours for caffeine to be completely processed and out of your system. That means that your 2pm cup of coffee is still doing its thing well into the night! This can be a tough one for some people but ideally you shouldn’t be drinking coffee after 11am.
Have a fantastic and restful week!
Content inspired by and borrowed from NCFit.
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