If you’re settling for a sub-par sleep schedule, it’s time to change that! Why? Because sleep is directly related to your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Simply put, your sleep health is one of the biggest predictors of your overall health. Just as good sleep can boost your mood, increase productivity, support your weight loss goals, and benefit immune health, poor sleep can do the opposite. Yep, if you’re skimping on sleep, it could be wreaking havoc on your fitness goals and even leading to sugary junk food cravings. Not to mention the long-term effects of sleep deprivation! The thing is, a restful slumber shouldn’t be an impossible feat. With a little know-how (and some simple sleep hacks), a good night’s rest is actually easier than you think!
Ahead, we’re sharing the ways in which sleep could affect your goals. Plus, we’re giving you some easy-to-implement hacks that will have you snoozing away. Read on for all you need to know!
Here’s How a Lack of Sleep Could Affect Your Fitness Results + The Foods You Crave
That’s right, the often-overlooked truth is that a lack of sleep or disrupted, poor quality sleep has a direct role in the way our body recovers from our workouts — or doesn’t.
Regularly skimping on sleep not only makes it hard (if not impossible) to recover from yesterday’s sweat sesh, but it can also mean that our body has a much harder time shedding fat, specifically around our midsections. According to a recent 2022 research study, restricted sleep — even in otherwise healthy, lean individuals — is directly associated with an increase in visceral belly fat.
Not only that but slacking on sleep may also affect food cravings that may lead to weight gain.
So if you’re doing everything else right, but you’re not seeing those hard-earned results, it may be time to check in on your sleep habits!
7 Simple Sleep Hacks for Better Rest Tonight
#1 Power Down Earlier…(Yep, We Know You Know, But Really Do It!)
We know you’ve heard it before, but it’s just the facts. If you’re glued to your phone, laptop, or TV (or all three) right up until you turn off the light and try to power down, it’s definitely taking a toll on your sleep.
The blue light emitted from screens can disrupt our body’s internal clock by suppressing the release of melatonin and increasing feelings of alertness, thus making it difficult to get to sleep. Plus, if you scroll past stimulating content on social media or read an anxiety-producing email, chances are it will impair your sleep quality and cause you to toss and turn rather than snooze away.
Getting away from screens one to two hours before you want to be asleep is an essential sleep hack. Powering down will help your brain and body wind down, so set a time limit on the screens and pick up a book instead.
#2 Clear Your Head & Organize For Tomorrow
Got a million and one thoughts swirling around in your brain? Yeah, us too. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to drift off when you can’t stop thinking about everything you have on tomorrow’s calendar.
So take a minute to “brain dump” everything on paper that’s taking up mental space so you can truly relax. And keep a blank notebook and pen next to your bed — this will allow you to jot down any lingering thoughts that could potentially disturb your sleep!
Want to take things up a notch? Set out your workout clothes for tomorrow morning, get everything you need for your morning cup of coffee out and organized, and pre-pack as much as you can the night before. Chances are, you’ll feel like you’re better able to relax when you have things ready to go for tomorrow AM.
#3 Try a Nighttime Meditation
Meditation is not only a great way to begin the day, but it can really be helpful at any hour. It can alleviate stress, clear your mind, and promote a whole-body feeling of calm. So, give it a go before bedtime if sleep is a struggle.
Check out some guided meditations in your FitOn app to help set the tone for a restful night’s sleep, like this Sleep Yoga Nidra with DeAndre Sinette.
Here are some of our other favorites:
- Preparing for Sleep with DeAndre Sinette
- Bedtime Affirmations with Kenta Seki
- Falling Back Asleep with DeAndre Sinette
- Grounding Breath with Rachel Ruth
#4 Consider Essential Oils
helping you wind down. Plus, the act of diffusing them or even spritzing lavender oil on your pillow, which has helpful sleepytime properties, can signal to your brain that it’s time to power down.
Other than the usual lavender go-to, here are some other oils to consider adding to your diffuser during your evening ritual.
#5 Wind Down With A Sleep-Supporting Herbal Tea
Speaking of natural ways to promote a restful night’s sleep, try sipping on a calming herbal tea. Similar to diffusing essential oils, sipping on certain herbal tea blends can help you fall and stay asleep.
Here are some science-supported sleepy teas to consider that may also help ease feelings of stress.
#6 Keep it Cool
If you feel like you sleep better when you’re on the cooler side, you’re not imagining it — the science backs up your hunch! Most of the research points to around 65 degrees Fahrenheit as the ideal temperature for our bodies to get the best quality, undisrupted sleep.
If possible, crank down the AC, put a fan on you, cool off with a bath or shower before bed, or crack a window — whatever will keep you chill.
#7 And Dim The Lights
While we’re talking about your sleep environment, maintaining a dark bedroom is important for a healthy snooze. If leaky sources of light are shining through (think: street lights or electronics), your sleep quality takes a hit. Even minimal amounts of light disrupt melatonin production and disrupt your sleep cycle! Wear a sleep mask or try blackout curtains — just make sure your bedroom stays dark!
Bonus Tip: Changing The Color Scheme of Your Room May Benefit Your Sleep
Ok, so not really one of those sleep hacks you can put into work tonight, but something to keep in mind if you ever feel the need to change up the color of your bedroom!
Research suggests that the color of your bedroom may, in fact, impact sleep quality. According to color psychology, soft blue colors may help calm the mind. And a calm mind is key to a good night’s sleep!
Blue can be incorporated into your bedroom by painting your walls, adding some calming blue throw pillows, or just updating the color scheme of your bedroom, in general, to incorporate more soft blue colors.
If you’re not a big fan of blue, some other good options include green, white, beige, and pink.
With These Simple Sleep Hacks, You’re On Your Way To Better Rest!
It’s undeniable just how crucial good quality sleep is, so make it your mission to get really good at resting. In fact, make it a goal to start adding sleep-supporting hacks to your self-care routine.
You can track your sleep during the night using a sleep tracker if you want to crunch the data or just go off how much better, more rested, and healthy you feel. Sweet dreams!