When was the last time you had a deep and restful night’s sleep?
I’m talking 8 hours, whereas soon as your head hits the pillow, you fall into a deep, calm, and blissful sleep…
To wake up 8 hours later, feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to leap out of bed?
Well, the chances are if you’re like most people, it’s probably not been for a long time – maybe years?
According to Aviva – as many as 16 million adults in the U.K. are suffering from sleepless nights.
The reality for most is:
- Going to bed late (after 11 pm)
- Waking up throughout the night
- Waking up feeling tired and groggy
- Mood swings throughout the day
- Weight gain and high cravings for carbohydrates (especially in the evening)
When you live like the above, everything suffers, from your career to your personal relationships and waistline.
You’re reminded of the above every time you look in the bathroom mirror…
You see dark bags under your eyes, a dull skin complexion, and an extra tummy role (that wasn’t there a few months ago).
It’s a vicious circle that keeps repeating itself and getting worse…
You end up consuming copious amounts of caffeine throughout the day to get you through, and then binge on high-calorie comfort foods (bread, pasta, chocolate, sweets, etc.) and drink alcohol in the evening to celebrate getting through another day and trying to unwind.
Then you wake up the next day (it’s like Groundhog day all over again!)
Well, enough is enough.
If you want to age more quickly, lead a lower quality of life, and pile on the pounds, keep doing the above.
If, however, you’ve had enough and want to change, then you’ll want to read this post. In this article, I’ll share with you five sleep hacks so that you can:
- Triple your energy
- Lose weight
- Boost your health, mindset, memory, and daily performance so you can get more out of life
- Increase confidence in the areas that matter to you
- Feel motivated, empowered and regain control of your life
If this is what you want, please read on…
5 Sleep Hacks To Help You Get The Best Nights Sleep You’ve Had In Decades
1. Exercise First Thing In The Morning
Try and complete your workout first thing in the morning. According to fitness expert and personal trainer, Sarah Outrum (LEP Fitness), it’s best to do your exercises first thing in the morning. Sarah says, “if you can get outside and exercise before going to work, it’s going to give you a surge of feel-good endorphins, which will make you feel good throughout the day. You’ll also expose yourself to natural light, which is key for resetting your circadian rhythm and promoting a better night’s sleep.”
Some morning exercise ideas could include:
- Outdoor Bootcamp
- Working out with weights in your garden or sunlit balcony/conservatory
2. Set An End Point To Your Day
Most people don’t have a cut-off point during the day when they switch off and relax. We’ve all been there when you’re watching T.V. at night, and then every 5-10 minutes, you check Facebook, Instagram, the news, message friends, respond to work emails, etc. It never stops does it?
So the only way to stop it is by taking control. Remember to run your life (don’t let your life run you).
Set an endpoint to your day when your phone gets turned off (or put on flight mode/silent), and the laptops shut.
I challenge you to do the above for the next 28 days, whether the end of your day is 7 pm or 8 pm. Pick a time you can commit too, and as soon as the clock strikes that number, the only thing left to do is relax and unwind, which brings me onto my next point…
3. Do Relaxing Activities In The Evening
You’re probably busy throughout the day, your thoughts are racing at 100mph, and every time you tick something off your ‘to-do list,’ another two things get added!
We’ve all been there.
That’s fine (to a certain degree during the day) – that’s when you’re taking action and working on projects, hobbies, etc. But then in the evening, it’s time to unwind. The calmer you can be on the lead up to bedtime, the more likely you’ll get a good night’s sleep.
Some calming activities include:
- Taking a relaxing bath – place some bath salts in a warm bath and relax
- Meditate – I recommend downloading either Headspace or Calm – 5-10 minutes of this per day will do wonders for your mind, body, and spirit
- Read a book in bed (instead of watching T.V.). Some great books include: What I Know For Sure (Oprah Winfrey), Mindset (Carol Dweck), Becoming (Michelle Obama)
- Journal – write down your thoughts and feelings, lessons learned from the day, reflection points, 3-5 things you’re grateful for, and 3-5 things that you’re looking forward to tomorrow.
4. Take Some Natural Sleep Supplements
Three sleep supplements that are very effective for promoting good sleep are:
- Magnesium Glycinate
- Ashwagandha – read more here
The above three can help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and put your body in recovery mode to wake up recharged.
P.S. Before taking the above supplements, make sure to consult with your doctor.
5. Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses
During the evening, leading up to bedtime, you want to avoid bright lights, especially from:
The blue light will keep you stimulated and tricks your body into believing it’s still daytime and keeps you awake.
As humans, we have a natural circadian rhythm designed to…
Keep us awake during the daytime (when it’s light)
Fall asleep, rest, digest, and recover at the night time (when it’s dark)
The problem is with artificial lighting throughout the day and evening (phone, TV, etc.) it messes up your body’s natural clock and, therefore, negatively disrupts your sleeping patterns.
What I would recommend is to invest in some blue light blocking glasses. Watch out for the cheap/fake blue light blocking glasses. Since wearing blue light blocking glasses, I’ve noticed I have fewer headaches, I get tired in the evening (a good thing) and fall straight to sleep. I’ll usually wear them from 7 pm onwards (I go to sleep at 10 pm), so I put them on three hours before bed.
Alongside the above, I would also recommend :
- Switching off all blue light-emitting devices 1-2 hours before bed
- Turning off bright lights in your house – use lamps instead of bright lights, candles, etc
Putting It All Together ( An Example Sleep Improvement Program)
So to summarise quickly:
1) Exercise outside in the morning (even if it’s just for 10 minutes)
2) Set an endpoint to your day when you switch off (7/8 pm)
3) Do relaxing activities once you’ve reached your endpoint (bath, read, meditate)
4) Invest in some high quality sleep supplements (magnesium, ashwagandha, melatonin)
5) Pick up some blue light blocking glasses and wear them 2-3 hours before bed
5 BONUS SLEEP TIPS
Here are five more extra sleep tips:
- Try and keep your bedroom temperature between 18-21 degrees – this is optimal for sleep
- Avoid eating 2-3 hours before bed
- Invest in some blackout blinds or a sleeping mask
- Read the book – Why We Sleep By Matthew Walker (one of the best books I’ve ever read)
- Walk during the day – and try and get at least 30 minutes (ideally 60 minutes of natural light per day). If you can complete 5,000 -10,000 steps, that will be a bonus (it will also be fantastic for the waistline and your aerobic fitness).
Helen Chambers is a health and fitness blogger. She also runs a private holistic health practice in Surrey, UK which mainly focuses on helping women between the ages of 30-50 to boost their health, fitness, and wellbeing.