Getting 8-10 hours of sleep can help you reach your fitness goals faster and more effectively. You’re more likely to make better food choices (bad sleep has a direct correlation with your body craving simple carbs and sugars), feel fresh and ready to smash your workout, and manage stress better.
Here are some simple things you can implement into your daily routine to improve your sleep:
1. WAKE UP YOUR CIRCADIAN CLOCK
Your morning routine can have a huge effect on how you sleep at night. View sunlight by going outside within 30-60 minutes of waking. Do that again in the afternoon, before sunset. Each time Spend 10-60 minutes in the sun depending on how bright it is outside, and avoid wearing sunglasses.
No you don’t need to look directly into the sun! Your eyes need to be exposed to it. Don’t wear a brimmed hat, sunglasses, or remain in the shade. This won’t wake up your circadian clock.
BRIGHT CLOUDLESS DAYS: 10 min
CLOUDY DAYS: 20 min
VERY OVERCAST DAYS: 30-60 min
Alright, we know living in Vancouver or other temperate rainforest places don’t always allow for this. Often it is overcast, or even raining. And the dreaded winters, forget about it.
If the above isn’t a realistic method to practice daily, there is a commonly used sun lamp available. They have been known to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and mimic the same light the sun would give you. Read this article on the 5 best SAD lamps on the market, and consider waking up to it.
2. MAKE YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE CONSISTENT
Wake up and go to bed at the same time each day. Don’t stay up too late, as this can lead to difficulty falling asleep.
This also means waking up at the same time each day regardless of when you went to bed or what day of the week it is. When we sleep in on weekends we throw off our body’s natural rhythm, and then have a harder time falling asleep and waking up the following days.
3. Avoid consuming caffeine within 8-10 hours of bedtime, as it can interfere with sleep.
4. Keep the room you sleep in cool, dark, and use layered blankets you can remove.
Your body needs to drop in temperate by 1-3 degrees to fall asleep and stay asleep. Body temperature increases are a common reason to wake up.
Your room should be 18 degrees Celsius.
5. Drinking alcohol messes up your sleep, as do most sleep medications
You may feel like you’re getting to sleep faster, but you’re actually getting less quality sleep on these substances.
Inspired by the Huberman Lab