At times, it can seem as though life is nothing but an endless to-do list.
Go to work.
Go to the store.
Take out the trash.
Study/Prepare a presentation for work.
By the end of the day, you’re worn out and exhausted and just ready to hit the sack. The last thing you probably want to do is have yet another “to-do” on your list.
But, there are a few to-do’s that you should do each day/night if you want to get the best sleep possible, which will have you recharged, refreshed, and ready to tackle the next day with renewed vigor and excitement.
You may not realized it (and, in fact, many people don’t), but getting enough quality sleep each night is absolutely essential to performing your best mentally and physically each day, as well as getting the best results possible during your transformation challenge.
Here are our top 6 must-do’s for your best sleep ever!
Top 6 Must-Do’s for Your Best Sleep Ever
#1 Establish a Set Bedtime
The most successful individuals have a plan for their day and execute it. Now, this doesn’t mean everything always goes to plan, but more often than not, if something needs to get done, it’s written down in a planner or scheduling assistant so it receives its due attention.
Whether it be a big presentation, meeting, dinner date, or workout. If something is important, more often than not it’s scheduled and completed.
Sleep is no different.
It is one of the most important aspects of your day, yet so many people shirk it as if it’s something that has as much benefit as a pair of worn out running shoes with a hole in the sole.
One of the easiest, and best, things you can do for your sleep each night is to schedule it into your day just like you would for an important meeting at work or when you’re going to hit the gym.
By setting a specific bedtime (and abiding by it), you give yourself a goal each day for when it’s time to start shifting into “sleep mode” for your mind and body. All of the other must-do’s for your best sleep ever are built off of having a set bedtime, without this, all the others lack in their magnitude of effect.
#2 Limit Eating & Drinking
Eating too much food or drinking too many liquids is known to disrupt sleep. Your body isn’t able to fully slip into deep sleep on account of having to spend more time digesting and absorbing the nutrients you ate right before bed.
What’s more, many individuals experience GI distress or reflux when eating too large of a meal prior to sleep, which can impair sleep quality.
Plus, consuming too many fluids pre-bed can lead to increased awakenings during the night to use the bathroom, which cuts into your sleep and can make it more difficult for some to fall back asleep.
At the same time, you don’t want to go to bed ravenous either, as feelings of hunger can make it difficult to fall asleep, or stay asleep.
To limit disturbances, try to finish eating ~2 hours prior to bed. If you feel you need a little something immediately prior to bed to keep hunger at bay, try having a protein shake made with 1UP Whey Protein or 1UP Organic Vegan Protein.
1UP protein powders are low-calorie, but high in protein that will support your body’s repair and recovery efforts while you sleep.
It also goes without saying that you especially want to limit the consumption of alcohol and caffeine several hours before bed as both can disrupt your ability to achieve deep, restorative sleep.
#3 Limit Screen Time 2 Hours Before Bed
Once you have your bedtime established, you want to limit your screen time (or avoid it completely) 2 hours before bed.
The reason for this is that screens from TVs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc. emit blue light, which is a high intensity light that can disrupt melatonin production. Melatonin is the hormone that governs our sleep-wake cycle.
Blue light is great for keeping you awake, which is why it’s a good idea to get out in the sun when you wake up, but when you’re trying to get to sleep, you want to avoid blue light as much as possible.
As such, try to avoid looking at TVs, phones, laptops, etc at least 2 hours before bed so that you don’t disrupt your body’s natural melatonin production, which can delay the onset of sleep. If you must look at a phone or TV, make sure it has some type of blue light filter on. Most phones, laptops, and tablets have some type of blue light filter (such as “Night Shift”). You can also invest in a pair of blue light blockers as well.
#4 Avoid Sources of Stress Before Bed
Building off of the previous point, in addition to limiting blue light exposure before bed, you’ll also benefit from avoiding things that can potentially increase feelings of stress, anxiety or worrying, which include everything from text messages to social media to emails.
Many individuals use social media to check the news (or read news sites), but more often than not these outlets are filled with negativity, bickering, and other things that ensnare you in a web of distraction, irritation, and anxiety, making it that much more difficult to fall asleep when you’re supposed to.
As such, think twice before logging onto your email or social media, flipping on the news, or scrolling through your text. Check it two hours before bed, and then (if possible) switch it to airplane mode and forget about it until tomorrow. You’ll sleep more soundly.
#5 Take a Warm Bath or Shower
As part of your pre-bed ritual, it can be helpful to take a warm bath or shower. This serves three purposes.
First, the hot temperature of the water can be relaxing in and of itself and can help you to unwind mentally and physically (especially sore muscles).
Second, taking a nice long soak in the tub (or extra long shower) allows you to decompress mentally and sort through all the happenings of the day, which can help you to feel less anxious or stressed before bed.
Third, taking a warm bath or shower has been shown to improve sleep.
Specifically, taking a warm bath or shower helps cool the body down by improving the blood circulation from your core to your hands and feet. It also improves the temperature circadian rhythm, which help you to fall asleep more quickly and improve overall sleep quality,
It’s also worth mentioning that the duration of the bath or shower doesn’t need to be longer than 10 minutes in order to reap the benefits (though you can choose to stay longer if you desire).
#6 Indulge in a Relaxing, Wind-Down Activity
Taking a warm bath is one way to relax and wind-down after a long, strenuous day of work, commuting, and training. But, it’s not the only thing you can (or have to) do before bed.
There are a number of other relaxing activities you can do before bed (that don’t involve staring at a screen).
Some of our favorite night time wind-down activities to do before bed include:
- Performing breathing drills
- Listening to relaxing instrumental music
- Light yoga/foam rolling/stretching
- Having a cup of herbal tea
Try one (or a couple) of these night time activities and see just how much it can help take the edge off and put you in the right frame of mind for a productive night’s rest.
Sleep is essential to getting the results you want from your diet and exercise program, yet many individuals still struggle to get enough quality sleep each night.
Use the six expert tips detailed above to help achieve your best sleep ever.
Our nighttime restoration and recovery aids contain natural, non-habit forming ingredients that promote feelings of calm relaxation while helping reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, so that you can achieve your best sleep ever, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever challenges the new day presents!
- Haghayegh, S., Khoshnevis, S., Smolensky, M. H., Diller, K. R., & Castriotta, R. J. (2019). Before-bedtime passive body heating by warm shower or bath to improve sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 46, 124–135. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2019.04.008