Sleep is paramount to physical and mental well-being, productivity, recovery, immune function, and much more. It’s a subject we’ve discussed at length countless times before. Yet, millions of individuals continually struggle to get regular quality sleep.
If you’re one of the millions that can’t ever seem to get consistently great sleep, then read on as we present three can’t-miss bedtime tips to improve sleep!
#1 Eat Well to Sleep Well
Proper nutrition is essential to achieving your goal, whether it’s building lean muscle, losing body fat, or getting the best results during your transformation challenge. Believe it or not, what you eat (or drink) also has a significant impact on your ability to fall (and stay) asleep each night.
For instance, consuming caffeine-containing beverages and food (e.g. coffee, tea, energy drinks, etc.) can make it more difficult to fall asleep since caffeine prevents adenosine from binding to its receptor. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that induces feelings of lethargy and tiredness. A good rule of thumb is to limit/avoid caffeine after 2-3PM. This is because caffeine has a half-life ~5.5 hours, which means if you consume 200mg of caffeine at 3PM, then you still have ~100mg of caffeine (the same as a small cup of coffee) in your system at 8 or 9PM -- the time when many individuals are winding down for the evening and getting ready for bed.
Keep in mind, if you’re particularly sensitive to caffeine, then you may want to stop your caffeine intake even earlier (for example around lunchtime).
Alcohol is another thing you want to avoid before bedtime. While it may cause you to fall asleep, it actually disrupts REM sleep and limits your ability to sleep soundly through the night.
As for the “best” foods to eat before bed, that will be somewhat individual. Focus on high-quality foods (lean proteins, complex carbs, healthy fats, fruits, veggies, etc), but the ideal timing as well as the quantity of those foods will vary from one person to the next. Some individuals enjoy having a big meal full of carbohydrates right before bed since carbohydrates increase serotonin levels, which may help you get to sleep. Others prefer to have their last meal earlier in the evening as eating too large of a meal too close to bed can lead to GI upset and disrupted sleep.
If you fall in the latter category but still struggle with feelings of hunger right before bed, you can have a protein shake, which digests very easily, crushes cravings, and supports muscle recovery and weight loss while you sleep!
#2 RELAX Before Bed
One of the primary reasons people struggle to fall asleep is that they’re worried and stressed. It can be beneficial to practice relaxation techniques before bed to help offload what’s weighing heavy on your psyche.
Some of our favorite nighttime relaxation techniques include:
- Stretching/Light yoga
- Listening to relaxing music
- Taking a warm bath or shower
It’s also helpful to avoid sources of stress and blue light in the hours leading up to bed as both can hinder your ability to relax and fall asleep when you want to.
Last, but not least, you can also try adding supplements to your nighttime regimen, such as 1UP RELAX or Beauty Dream PM. These products contain calming ingredients, such as Theanine and KSM-66 ashwagandha, that help ease a hyperactive nervous system, enabling you to unwind and settle in for the deep, restorative sleep you need.
#3 Make Your Bedroom Comfortable
To get a great night’s sleep, it’s imperative that you have comfortable surroundings. This includes the temperature of your bedroom, the clothes you wear to bed, the mattress & pillow you use, and how dark you make your room.
Generally speaking, you want your room as dark as possible and cool (somewhere between 65-68F). Wearing loose, comfortable clothing that breathes also encourages better sleep as does the right pillow and mattress for your particular needs. This latter point is especially important as some people need a firmer mattress while others require a softer one.
Remember that the quality and consistency of your sleep affects every other facet of daily life -- energy, mood, workout performance, dietary choices, fat loss, muscle gain, productivity, and much more!
Don’t shirk sleep, and if you need extra help settling down for the evening, use the tips outlined above and make sure to check out our top-rate nighttime relaxation and recovery aids -- Beauty Dream PM and Recharge PM.