Let’s talk sleep…we all wish we had more of it. After attending a Exercise Recovery Symposium led by some of the greatest minds in the Sports Science Industry, I was made very aware of how important sleep is to…EVERYTHING!!! If we are not sleeping, we are not recovering, which leads to a raft of problems on its own, more of that in another post..but for now I wanna address another elephant in the bedroom and that is devices!
We are all guilty of it, last minute work on the laptop, trolling through facebook, checking our Instagram posts, emails etc. While this seems harmless, there are a few things to be aware of and how it is impacting your sleep.
The infamous blue light emitted by our devices has a very powerful effect on the suppression of Melatonin- our sleeping hormone. As a result, we are not getting a solid amount of sleep, in fact we as a society are no longer getting 8hrs…in fact, we are barely getting 6.5 hours! That means, our cortisol hormones (the flight vs fight) response are in overdrive and we are staying awake longer than we should.
Leptin..the hunger hormone, is also higher at night, so while you are up surfing the web, you run the risk of answering that hunger call and the nibbling ensues. Our waistlines don’t appreciate this.
So, what can you do to help increase your sleep habits?
- An hour before bed, dim the lights.
- Create a nightly routine you can every evening at the same time. Our bodies love routine.
- Allow for more time in bed to actually get to sleep
- Avoid phone, tv, computer late at night
- Ensure bed comfortable, room is cool, quiet and dark (a cave). Better that the room is slightly cool – 18 degrees
- Avoid thinking planning or other mental activities while in bed – do a sleep reset if you are overthinking – write a to do list to not have to think about it and put a time next to when you will do it. Read a book restart your normal sleep routine.
- Implement relaxation strategies – progressive muscle relaxation – contract and relax your muscles
Now you have some strategies, start implementing them, and watch your quality of sleep improve!