- By Sarah Gresham - Posted in: Nutrition - 13 NOV 2018
"Go To Bed!"
By: Sarah Gresham
Exercise, nutrition, and SLEEP are three key elements to achieving optimal health & fitness. You can eat well & crush it in the gym everyday but if you’re only sleeping 5-6 hours a night you may be doing more damage to your body than good. Our bodies need a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep and 9-10 hours on heavy training days.
“People just don’t realize how important sleep is, and what the health consequences are of not getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis… Sleep is just as important for overall health as diet and exercise.”
–Carl Hunt, MD, director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at the NIH
In a world full of digital distractions like 24-hr tv (“next episode starts in 3-2-1…”), online shopping (“ooh, I need dis”) & social media (keep on scrollin’) we are all struggling to get enough shut-eye. Resulting in higher body fat, messed up hormones, chronic illness & fatigue.
“the shorter your sleep, the shorter your life. The leading causes of disease and death in developed nations—diseases that are crippling health-care systems, such as heart disease, obesity, dementia, diabetes, and cancer—all have recognized causal links to a lack of sleep.”
― Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
Let's all make sleep a priority. You can’t control your sleep but you can control your sleep behaviors and your environment.
Here are a few tips to help you get a good night’s sleep:
- Create a bedtime routine. Our bodies love routine! Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time. Obviously this is not always possible. However, the more consistent you are over time your body will start feel sleepy at bedtime and in the morning you will start to feel more refreshed!
- Eat a healthy well balanced meal 2-3 hours before bedtime. A good balance of lean protein, carbohydrates and fat will satisfy your body and prepare it for sleep. If you work out in the early morning hours. Keep in mind this meal will be your pre-workout fuel.
- Stretch, do relaxation exercises, or read before bed. Nothing too stimulating!
- Reduce caffeine & alcohol. Even though alcohol may seem relaxing it can interfere with your ability to reach deep sleep - same with too much caffeine after 2 p.m.
- Exercise regularly. Schedule your workouts like they’re important business meetings. Exercising consistently helps regulate circadian rhythm as well as your central nervous system & hormones.
- Clear your brain. “They” call this brain dumping. Whatever is on your mind - get it on paper. Any to-do’s, brilliant ideas, captivating thoughts… write it all down.
- Turn off ALL of your electronics. Shut things down 30-min to 1-hr before bedtime.
- Create a dark, cool, clutter free and calm sleeping environment. Keep your room dark, at a cool temperature around 67*, as well as clutter free space (ahem, put your laundry away) for a peaceful nights rest. Also, using a white noise machine or apps are very helpful for those who struggle to fall & stay asleep. Who doesn’t love falling asleep to the sound of ocean waves?
If you have the fitness routine down & get a sufficient amount of sleep but you’re struggling to reach your goals... the OC team can help!
Our fitness community seeks goal setting, personal training, nutrition accountability coaching & macronutrient recommendations for a multitude of reasons whether it’s for weight/fat loss, maintenance, improved performance, aesthetics or simply the desire to feel better.
We’re ready to help you reach your goals! Contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started on your path to peak fitness & nutrition.