It seems like almost everyone we talk to lately is struggling to get enough shut-eye each night. So if your sleep quality ain’t great, you’re certainly not the only one in need of these sleep hacks.
And, while it may have become (sadly) commonplace to complain about how many hours of sleep you get each night, it’s actually not something to take lightly. You’ve probably already heard (and experienced first-hand) just how detrimental poor sleep habits are on our mood, focus, productivity, and general wellbeing. But did you realize that it could also be wreaking havoc on your fitness goals and leading to sugary junk food cravings as well?
Keep reading, we’re letting you in on it all.
Here’s How a Lack of Sleep Could Affect Your Fitness Results + The Foods You Crave
That’s right, the often-overlooked truth is, 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.
Not only that, but slacking on sleep has also been known to spike hunger and appetite, as well as negatively impact our metabolism.
So if you’re doing everything else right, but those abs just don’t want to shine through, be honest with yourself — how’s your sleep? Since a lack of sleep makes it harder to shed fat and also ups our tendency to gravitate toward junk food (thanks to the effect it has on our hunger hormones), implementing these sleep hacks is a must.
Five Simple Sleep Hacks for Better Rest Tonight
By using these simple sleep hacks tonight, you can start to turn around poor sleep habits. Literally, your entire body will thank you!
#1 Power Down Earlier…(Yep, We Know You Know, But Really Do It!)
Yeah, we know, you’ve heard it before! But it’s just the facts. If you’re glued to your phone, laptop, or TV (or yikes, all three) right up until you turn off the light and try to power down, it may definitely be taking a toll on your sleep.
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.
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 Get Zen With a Nightly Meditation or Stretch
Meditation is not only a great way to begin the day, but it can really be helpful at any hour. 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.
Or do a gentle and relaxing before bed stretch with one of our FitOn trainers.
#4 Consider Essential Oils
Enter one of Mother Nature’s most genius remedies — essential oils. They can go a long way in 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, chamomile and frankincense are two other oils to consider adding to your diffuser during your evening ritual.
#5 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 69 degrees Fahrenheit as the ideal temperatures 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.
Bonus Tip: Painting Your Room May Benefit Your Sleep
Ok, so not really one of those sleep hacks you can put into practice 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 walls may, in fact, impact sleep quality (yes, seriously!) Studies show that blue is the best and most calming color choice. Why? Well, not only is blue a calming color, but science shows that we have certain receptors in our eyes that make our brains more receptive to this calming color.
If you’re not a big fan of blue, some other good options include light yellow, silver or other neutral colors.
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 on a watch or heart rate monitor if you want to crunch the data, or just go off how much better, more rested, and healthy you feel.