Sleep Better with a Nighttime Routine



I posted this infographic earlier this week but I wanted to expand on each piece a bit more.


Not getting regular sleep is one of the most detrimental habits one can have on your health and weight loss for a multitude of reasons. Studies have shown that when our circadian rhythm is off it can effect our blood pressure, immune system, heart and even our hormones. If you are looking to better your health or lose weight, I recommend you start here.

Our life is run by habits, literally. We fall into routines and our bodies respond in anticipation of the results we are used to getting from whatever we’re doing.

Bedtime is no different.

As children, most of us had a night time routine our parents set up that probably went something like eat dinner, take a bath, brush your teeth, read a story, go to sleep. This routine turned into a habit that our bodies responded to quite well by falling to sleep sometimes before the story was even over.

As adults this shouldn’t change but busy lives and bedtime routines for our own children have gotten in the way of us keeping that., which is part of the reason that a lot of people have trouble actually going to sleep once they get to bed. Well, now is the time to create your OWN bedtime routine in order to prepare your bodies for sleep.

To begin, ideally you’ll need about an hour to begin prepping but at least 30 minutes and you’ll also want to keep the time that you hit the sack within about 30 minutes of the same time every night, to again, create the habit.

1. No Electronics. An hour (or two) before you intend on being in bed do away with ALL blue light electronics. This means cell phones, TV’s, tablets or gaming devices. Not only does the blue light decrease our melatonin production but it actually increases brain activity, which is the exact opposite of what we’re trying to do.

2. Journal. Keeping a journal is something I think everyone should do, not just for a sleep habit but for your sanity. Our lives are so complex that our minds get overloaded with everything going on. Getting it down on paper can not only help organize these thoughts but also give you some emotional release. This journal can be anything from your to do list for the next day to things you are grateful for today, or just venting about that co worker that stole your cookie from the fridge. Whatever is on your mind, get it out!

3. Stretch. (or foam roll) We all need to stretch more. It doesn’t have to be an hour long yoga sesh, you can get through a decent full body stretch in 10-15 minutes no problem. This will help your entire body relax as well as get you out of that hunched over seated position you probably spent most of your day in.

4. Read/Color.

5. Drink Tea.

These last two can be done together. Now that your mind is empty and your body relaxed, it’s time to spend some time stimulating your creative side with your favorite book or some crayons. Studies have shown that coloring even for just 5 minutes can help reduce anxiety as well as increase creativity in the rest of your life!

For tea, it should be non-caffeinated and something calming like mint, lemon balm, valerian root, chamomile or any other sleep blend. The warmth will help your body relax and those types of herbs can assist with readying the mind for rest. Click here for some more ideas on night time teas- https://www.thesleepjudge.com/tea-recipes-better-sleep/

6. Meditate/ Pray

Meditation doesn’t have to be humming or any religious practice, its just about calming your mind and being present in the moment. It helps you to get full deep breaths which brings oxygen to the body and releases muscular tension. If you are religious and want to pray then I encourage you to focus on the positives and what you’re thankful for. There are multiple apps that can help such as Headspace (recommended for first timers), Sattva, Calm and more.


Give this a shot and let me know how it goes! Sweet dreams<3

Resources:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side

http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ688443.pdf



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