Hi fitness warriors!
Are you sick of tossing and turning each night and feeling drowsy in the morning? If yes, then this blog is for you! Sleep is so important – however, is one thing that many people do wrong. Lack of sleep can cause many health issues, such as; lack of concentration/memory, weight gain, muscle weakness/fatigue, and negatively affects your immune system.
As you may know, we should aim for 7.5 hrs+ of sleep a night. However, what you may not know is that we need 1 – 2 hrs of deep sleep each night (also referred to as ‘slow-wave sleep’) to get the full benefits that sleep can provide! Receiving this correct amount of deep sleep each night has countless benefits. There is four strategies that can be implemented at night to boost sleep quality and quantity.
- Make your room sleep-able:
This is the first step into receiving sufficient deep sleep. The most important part of making your room sleep-able is to make your room as dark as possible. This includes all joining rooms, charges and any other object / device that may bring light into the room.
The main purpose of this first step is to assist the ‘Circadian rhythms’ process. This is the process that our minds naturally follow: Waking up with light and falling asleep in darkness. I recommend you complete this first step before completing the below (so roughly 15 – 20 minutes before your desired bedtime).
- Relax your mind and body:
Your second step is to de-stress your mind and body. Doing this will allow you to fall asleep faster, easier and deeper. You can do this in many ways, such as having a warm shower / bath before bed (the warmth relaxes our muscles and minds), complete breath work / meditation, or yoga / stretching.
Another big factor to de-stressing your mind and body is to limit stress related topics and technology before bed, such as removing access to emails, news, work, bills and your phone. Completing this will allow your mind and body to switch off easier at night.
- Activate your imagination:
This is my favourite step out of the four…
Have you ever wondered why people say ‘counting sheep helps you sleep,’ or why bed-time stories help kids fall asleep faster? This is because fictional thoughts/books activate your imagination.
Activating your imagination before sleep stimulates the area of the brain where dreams are originated from – this, therefore, results in you getting into a deeper state of sleep easier as your imagination (area of your brain where dreams originate from) is already activated and ready to create dreams.
There are many ways to which you can do this, such as;
- Read a fictional book: Boosting your imagination through the story as you visualize the events of the book;
- Listen to a fictional audiobook: If you’re not a reader, listening to a fictional audiobook will have the same benefits as the above;
- Visualize a story in your mind: Such as counting sheep; or
- Meditate: I recommend following a guided meditation as you will need to visualize the assigned tasks.
The best time to do the above is when you’re lying in bed and ready to sleep – I recommend you switch all technology off before this process.
- Wake-up at the same time each day:
Your last step: Wake up at the same time each and every day. This step can be the hardest of the four to complete, yet if done correctly will make a massive difference to your energy each morning.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a late-night catching up with friends and have received three hours of sleep, or if you had a relaxing night and have had ten hours of sleep – either way, it’s important to wake up at the same time each day.
Over time, this allows your body to adapt to this time schedule. Resulting in your body falling asleep faster at night (as it knows when it needs to wake up each morning), and having more energy in the morning (as your body is aware of when it needs to exert energy for the day).
Check out the 40-day wake-up challenge to learn more!
Altogether, by completing these four strategies at night I can almost guarantee you’ll notice a difference both mentally and physically. As mentioned at the start of this blog, receiving a sufficient amount of deep sleep each night will result in you feeling more refreshed and energised for your day.
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I’ll see you next time!