4 Hacks to Get the Best Night’s Sleep Ever
How did you sleep last night?
Let me tell you- I didn’t sleep well AT ALL. And my whole day has been a train wreck because of it.
So, sitting here groggy at my desk, I HAD to write about how crucially important sleep is for weight-loss (and general life functioning).
Getting ZZzzzzzzs is SO important because hormones are regulated while you sleep, and people who get lots of regular sleep tend to make better food choices and have slimmer waistlines.
Sleep is a great way for your body to get energy without consuming food.
Enough yammering about why sleep is awesome. We all know it’s awesome. I bet you want to know- how do you get more of it?
1.) Sleep Trick #1: KILL ALL THE LIGHTS
And when I say kill the lights, I mean alllllll the lights. Unfortunately, modern technology makes this kinda difficult.
My toothbrush has a light, my laptop charger has a light. Let’s not even get starting on TVs, VCRs, cable boxes, and printers. It’s 2015, and everything has a light.
Interesting Fact: Studies have shown that blue lights are especially evil when it comes to suppressing our melatonin cycles.
No matter the color of your lights, grab a box of band-aids or some electrical tape and cover up every single one of them.
Invest in some blackout curtains, ear plugs, maybe an eye mask, and make your room a quiet, dark palace of sleep bliss. It’s a small sacrifice that will improve your restfulness and protect your circadian rhythms.
2.) Excellent Sleep Trick #2: No Screens an Hour Before Bed
I know this blog is awesome, but don’t read it right before you go to sleep. Avoid any screens at least any hour before bed (easier said than done if your iPhone doubles as your alarm clock.)
For those of you who can’t unplug (me) there is this WONDERFUL app called f.lux that will dim your computer and iPhone based on the cycle of the sun. COOL, RIGHT?
Get it here: https://justgetflux.com/
While you’re working on getting your sleep schedule regulated, remember to get outside each day to expose yourself to sunlight, which will help properly set your circadian rhythms.
3.) Sleep Trick #3: Exercise More!
Maybe it’s almost too obvious but: Sometimes you’re not getting enough sleep because you’re just not tired enough. Desk jobs are mentally exhausting, but not physically exhausting.
Sometimes good ol’ fashioned, unrelenting physical exercise is the key to get the deep sleep you need.
Do the FitQuick routine 3 times in a row follow by a 30 minute run, and I guarantee you will sleep more deeply from burning off all your excess energy.
4.) Sleep Trick #4: Minerals
When all else fails, I turn to the supplements. Melatonin is a known quick fix for a chronic sleep problem. However, be warned: this stuff packs a potent punch. If I take more than a quarter of a tablet, I’m walloped with a melatonin hangover the next day.
What often works just as well (without the next day zombie coma) is taking magnesium and zinc right before bed. These are nutrients we are supposed to get from the soil that our veggies grow in. But because of high food demands, soil is often over over-farmed and lacking the nutrients and minerals we need.
These supplements helped me sleep better. Maybe they’ll help you too.
So to recap, if you are having trouble sleeping: match your waking cycles to the sun, sleep in a dark and quiet room, eat early in the day, exercise often, avoid alcohol, carbs, & electronics at night, and take vitamins & supplements if needed.
Want to test it to see if these tricks actually work? Download the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock app on your smart phone so you can measure how many hours and the quality of sleep you get. Let me know how it goes!