Whether you want to accept it or not, good sleep plays a key role in weight loss and reaching your health goals. It’s the time when your body recovers, has a break and is a period of fasting where your digestive system gets a break and the toxins circulating in your body are cleaned out.
Given this, it’s worth it to make sure you are getting a good sleep (and an adequate amount!).
Check out these 6 things to see if you may be messing up your sleep without even realizing:
You don’t have a bedtime routine
There’s a reason little kids put up a fuss before bed when they don’t go through their usual routine, or get their usual story before sleep time – their bodies and minds are sued to the routine and this puts them in the mindset for sleep and allows them to sleep successfully. As adults, we’re exactly the same: a bedtime routine helps you prepare your body and mind for sleep, slow down your brain and let your body know that it is time to settle down for the night. Failure to do this will leave your mind racing, and not give your body enough time to release the sleep hormones.
Your room is full of technology
From the TV to your laptop, the phone charging beside your bed and your iPad on your night table, for most people, there’s no shortage of technology in the bedroom. This disrupts our light not only because of the light they emit, but also because for most of us, the last thing we look at is a bright screen and a series of thought provoking images and words. Make it a point to end time with technology at least 30 minutes before sleep and spend that half hour calming your mind with meditation, yoga, or a novel. If possible, also eliminate the number of tech items you keep in your room all night and your sleep will be better for it.
You eat just before bed
Eating just before bed wakes up all your body systems and tells them to get ready to go. You start your digestive system, the liver and kidneys are activated for cleaning and filtration and depending on what you eat, you may even spike your blood sugar. To the body, all of this amounts to it assuming you need energy for something (after all, you just fed it the energy), and it gets all revved up. In reality, you want the opposite and want to go to sleep. If possible, avoid activating your body like this too close to sleep time. If you are hungry, try sipping on a tea or having a bit of fruit.
Your room isn’t just for sleeping
For a lot of us, our room is where we study and do school work, hang out with friends, watch TV, and talk on the phone to friends. In other words, it is not a place that is solely associated with sleep. Try to minimize the number of activities you do in your room and reserve it just for sleep time. Eventually, the body will associate your room and bed with sleep (not doing homework and watching movies), and you will have an easier time getting to sleep when you are in there.
You change your sleep schedule often
Whether you’re working different shifts, partying a lot, or just staying up late and sleeping in on your days off, it’s hard to get a good sleep when you are constantly changing your sleep schedule. Believe it or not, your body can create it’s own schedule (your circadian rhythm), which will tell you when it is time to go to sleep and automatically wake you up at the right time. But it needs to be a regular schedule that doesn’t deviate very often and that you stick to. The best part of it? You’ll probably feel less tired because of it, because your body is choosing its sleep schedule!