Rene recently made a post talking about blue light and how it can negatively impact sleep, and in turn, take a toll on our health. In general, we talk about sleep a lot because it is really important!! If we get the optimal amount, and quality of sleep, we can see a lot of our health markers improve. On the other end of the spectrum if we get poor quality or less sleep, we can see important health markers are impacted negatively. With something that can effect our day to day function so much it makes sense to discuss not only the importance of sleep, but also ways to improve our sleep quality and quantity. I recently came across an article that talks about a couple of specific ways we can improve our sleep. I can safely say that I do notice my energy and mental alertness change when I do not adhere to a couple of the suggestions in the article so please take my word and try to implement some of these strategies!
The first tip the article provides is making sure that the room we sleep in is dark when we go to bed. Im not talking about just having the lights off, I’m talking about having it so dark that its hard to see at all when you are going to sleep. A great way to ensure the room is truly dark is investing in some blackout curtains and also making sure there are no devices that are emitting light. Whenever I sleep at Britneys house I would notice I had an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep through the night. I am a strong believer that this is because of the blackout curtains in her room. Whenever I would sleep at my apartment I noticed I would always have a considerably harder time falling asleep at night because my blinds let in a lot of light. The biggest difference between the two rooms is how much more light that is in them at night. Light in the room affects the body on a hormonal level. It inhibits the bodies ability to secrete melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for helping you fall asleep. If you can improve your bodies ability to secrete melatonin, then you can fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
The second tip and also another thing Rene touched on in her post, is limiting the amount of blue light exposure before bedtime. Blue light is most commonly emitted from electronic devices (phones, computers, TV’s). It has been proven to negatively impact sleep when people are exposed to it right before bed. Unfortunately going on our phones or watching TV is most peoples favorite pre bedtime activity. Turning on the night shift on your phone can help lim
it blue light before bed but is not a complete solution. Trying to make an active effort to be off any electronic devices for 30-60 minutes before bed would be your best option. If you did your normal nightly routine devoid of any electronics and then read a book for a little bit, this would be easily accomplished, and would provide a lot of benefits! Put down the IG feed and grab a good book so you can be on your way to better sleep.
The last tip the article gives is to do your best to release as much stress as possible before bed. We live in a sate of being constantly buried with things we have to attend to which amounts to a lot of stress. This can lead to our brains having an overflow of thoughts right before we try to go to bed. This overactivity can really affect our ability to go to sleep in a timely manner and in turn make us tired and groggy the next day. Some of the practices that the articles suggest are meditating, mindful breathing, or even a word dump into a journal. In the past I have used meditation before bed and found it pretty helpful to just allow the mind to relax and be in the right state for sleep. Just having something to help you down regulate the system and also put any thoughts or ideas that are plaguing your mind to rest can help quiet all that noise in your head.
Sleep and Nutrition are the building blocks to any healthy lifestyle, but are always the most overlooked. There is so much emphasis placed on what you’re doing inside the gym, but thats not even the most important part! Dialing in your sleep can provide you with a lot of benefits in and inside the gym, so it makes sense to take it serious. Even just making a couple small adjustments to your sleeping routine or bedtime practices can improve the quantity and quality of your sleep. If you wanna go full settler like Rene you could even read by candlelight! Happy Sleeping Sweat Shoppers!