Healthy Habits – Sleep

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing with you my top “Healthy Habits”. The first step to setting up an effective nutrition strategy is building an abundance of lifestyle and nutritional habits. These habits alone may drastically improve your overall health, body composition, goals and performance. It is very simple to know you should be doing something, however, actually applying it and creating habits is what people tend to find difficult.

Habit #1 – Sleep 8-9 hours per night.

If you are interested optimising, energy, cognitive function, immune function, muscle mass, recovery, performance or fat-loss, you better be sleeping 7-9 hours per night.

How to improve your sleep hygiene (quality and quantity).

  • Firstly you have to make getting sufficient sleep a priority. If you want to watch Netflix for 3 hours and go to sleep at 1am when you have to be up for with at 7am then you have to shift your prioritise and structure you evenings to align with your goals.
  • Do not consume stimulants such as caffeine 6 hours before you plan on going to sleep. If you are a coffee lover, opt for decaf.
  • Turn off the TV and get away from your phone for 30-60 minutes before going to bed, spend time winding down. Read a book, chat, do some light stretching, meditate, take a shower or plan/prep for the next day. If your mind is racing, take a “Brain Dump”. Write down everything you are thinking about that you have to do tomorrow or during the week to allow yourself to relax and not fear forgetting anything.
  • Don’t drink too much liquid before going to bed to avoid having to get up in the middle of the night.
  • Set up a sleep routine. Aim to set standard times when you go to sleep and wake.
  • Do not have your phone or alarm clock near or facing you to ensure you don’t clock watch if you are finding it difficult to get to sleep.
  • Avoid extremes of being too hot or too cold in bed.
  • If you are hungry before bed, eat; work this into your total daily intake to align with your goals.
  • Create total darkness and silence if possible.
  • Invest in a light alarm clock to wake you up gently and avoid snoozing the alarm. This will improve alertness in the morning.
  • If getting 7-9 hours sleep isn’t possible for you on certain nights of the week consider napping when possible during the day, ideally aiming for around 90 minutes to go through a full sleep cycle.

If this is something you currently not achieving, make it a priority and you will reap the rewards. If any of the above tips work well for you or if you have any tips that you find useful please comment, DM or email to let me know.

If you want to learn how to manage your own nutrition check out the nutrition coaching packages here.

Yours in health,

Shane

 

 

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