How have you been sleeping lately? It is usually not easy to fit in a full 8 hours of restful sleep, especially with busy schedules and any holiday stress. Regardless of what is going on in your life, prioritizing sleep is important for your overall health and well-being. Getting enough restful sleep is important for mental clarity and energy and can also affect your eating habits. One research study found that individuals who do not get at least 7 hours of sleep consumed 385 calories more the next day when compared to those who did get at least 7 hours of sleep.1 Don’t let a lack of sleep sabotage your weight maintenance goals!
Here are 8 ways to improve your sleep:
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. Having a routine can better align with your body’s natural sleep and wake cycles.
- Put all screens away at least an hour before going to bed. Yes, this means no phones, TVs or computers. These devices emit blue light that disrupt melatonin production and make it harder for us to fall asleep.
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature.
- Avoid large meals and alcohol before bedtime. Our bodies need time to digest foods before laying down in bed, and alcohol disrupts natural sleep patterns, leading to less restful sleep.
- Stay away from caffeine later in the day. If a coffee craving hits you mid-afternoon, opt for a decaf drink.
- Limit daytime naps to 30 minutes or less. Long naps can disrupt your sleep. If you feel exhausted during the day, try making changes to sleep more at night.
- Engage in physical activity during the day for more restful sleep.
- Create a bedtime routine. For example, start an hour before you want to go to bed and drink a cup of caffeine-free herbal tea, lay out your clothes for the next day, take a warm shower then read a book.
What is one change you can make today to improve your sleep tonight?
Check out our Start Your Morning on the Right Foot blog for tips to make your mornings more positive!
1: Source: “The effects of partial sleep deprivation on energy balance: a systematic review and meta-analysis”. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2016 Nov 6. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2016.201.
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