I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long long time so considering I’ve been struggling to sleep recently more than ever, I figured I needed to get to it and find some small things I can do that can help me get a better nights sleep. Some of these may be obvious but it really can be a few simple changes you make that will make the world of difference. I’m not going to tell you to do yoga before bed or meditate, zen out and all that stuff, because I’m assuming slash hoping that like me, once you’re home from work or gym you cba to do anything apart from be spoon fed dinner whilst starfishing on the sofa watching your favourite programme. Ain’t nobody got time (energy) for stretching and breathing slowly. #namastno.
I also read a similar article on how to get a good sleep the other day, and when I was going through each tip the majority were things I couldn’t avoid. Like don’t exercise before bed… Now normally, I could just get a quick session in before or after work, and that tip I could follow. But as prep is in full swing, I go straight to the gym from work and my sessions are 90 mins/ 2 hours each time as I have cardio to do – I can’t fit them in before work! Then I get home, eat & sleep. I know a lot of you will be in the same boat that you’d rather have that extra half hour in bed in the mornings and train after work instead!
Another one was ‘avoid booze’ – don’t know about you but I can’t handle two cocktails on the weekend without getting steaming let alone drinking during the week. Irrelevant?!
So here are just a few things I’ve started or stopped doing, that are relevant to my lifestyle which I’ve found have made a difference.
1. I have switched out my tea for herbal tea (peppermint, cinnamon, green). Now you all know I’m a little tea freak so this one was hard! One of the tips I’ve been hearing everywhere was to avoid caffeine later on in the day and in fairness, it seems to be working. Unless I am desperate for a coffee to get me through my workout, I have tea in the mornings (obviously I couldn’t cut it completely) but make sure I stop drinking it in the late afternoon.
2. Stop using your phone for at least 30 mins before bed. I know this is a hard one. We’re all suckers for saying you’re going to sleep but 3 hours later still scrolling through instagram. Guilty! This might be just because I literally have 0 free time atm, but I’m on my phone a LOT less nowadays and I do try and avoid it before bed. I try and catch up with friends/ insta/ selfies whilst doing boring cardio at the gym, then when I get home it’s eat & sleep time (maybe watch a bit of TV instead but I don’t seem to find that TV keeps me awake anyway?)
3. Turn the lights down. Now this is one that makes a bigger difference than you think. I have my phone set to ‘night’ mode from 8pm – 7am. The phone screen gradually turns more saturated, preparing your eyes for sleep time! Do the same with your room- keep a lamp on instead of your big bright room light. If you think about it this way – when you wake in the morning you don’t want to open your eyes to bright light, as your eyes have to strain to adjust. So at night when you’re tired, keeping that light on is only going to encourage them to stay open!
4. I also always like to have a dessert before bed. It tends to be higher in carbs, so I can fall into a sleepy, full, carby coma! I also often have casein before bed as it’s a slow digesting protein, so provides your muscles with the good stuff for hours! (Making gains whilst you sleep… winning).
5. Lastly, I find following the same evening routine helps me into knowing it’s time to sleep. If you want to know how to make simple actions turn into routine, I wrote my tips on just that right here. Once you’ve got a nightly routine sorted, I.e. Eat, watch half an hour tv at 9:30pm, read a book till 10, sleep… then each night when it comes to 10, your body will be ready for the zzz’s!
I hope these tips help you as they’ve helped me! If not, try and test things that you may think work!
What helps you to fall asleep? If you have any tips for me, let me know!
Love, L x