We know tips for better sleep are all over the internet, but we’ve got 8 of them that are superrrr important!
Sleep is that annoying thing we KNOW we need to do… yet we all really suck at doing it. It’s FREE, readily available right in our homes at all times, one of the most potent forms of medicine, and we’re still like “…you know, duck that thing.”
When it comes to fat loss, gaining muscle, performance goals, body composition goals, or just having happy hormones and feeling good in day-to-day life, a lot of people get caught up on the “Dollar Bills” (such as meal timing, expensive supplements, etc)
… and ignore the “Hundred Dollar Bills” (such as getting enough sleep, working out regularly, being active outside of the gym and getting enough steps, eating fruits and vegetables, eating enough protein, getting enough fiber, etc).
Something that was super ground breaking for me was when I learned that you shouldn’t really wake up repeatedly during the night feeling hungry or needing to use the restroom.
When I was a competitive athlete years and years ago, it was completely normal for me to toss and turn all night, wake up in the middle of the night starving, and/or just wake up anywhere from 2-4 times a night.
It wasn’t until I read Robb Wolf’s book titled “Wired to Eat” that I realized I had a lot of work to do.
Present day, I now realize that I wasn’t eating enough to support all my activity back then, I was training wayyyy too much, training too hard, I wasn’t getting enough sleep at night, I was relying on wayyy too much caffeine, and my poor body was just chronically getting beaten up in the gym and not being given a chance to properly recover.
^As you can see.. sleep is uh, really really important.
Tips for better sleep: A Note On Alcohol & Sleep
A lot of people also don’t realize how badly alcohol can disrupt sleep. In some, it causes insomnia and trouble getting to sleep. In others, they may fall asleep quickly, but then can’t stay asleep. Alcohol may disrupt the release of melatonin in your brain, worsen sleep apnea, and can also reduce how much REM sleep you get.
I am SUPER jelly if alcohol doesn’t impact your sleep. It absolutely crushes mine, which is a big factor in why I really don’t drink much. More times than not, the juice ain’t worth the squeeze for me.
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Tips for better sleep: Sleep Routine
One of the biggest things I noticed when working with hundreds and hundreds of clients over the years is that those that have a firm sleep routine and stick to a schedule (in regards to when they wind down and go to bed) are the ones that tend to be the most successful at actually getting enough sleep.
Which makes sense. If you’re watching something on Netflix or scrolling your phone, it can be superrrr easy to say “just one more” and then it’s suddenly 2am (whoops).
It doesn’t have to be super complicated or sexy, but this could be as simple as setting a few alarms on your phone to remind you to get off electronics ~2 hours before bed time, 1 hour reminder to tell you it’s time to start winding down, and then have a hard cut-off time at which you HAVE to be laying in bed.
During that “wind down” period, you might put away things around the house that got a little messy during the day, you could gather food for the next day, pack your work or gym bag, stretch and foam roll, shower, you could read a book or spend time journaling…
These are just ideas of course – make your routine look however you want it to look. But consistency is key here!
Tips for better sleep: Factors That May Be Effecting Your Sleep Quality
If you’re “doing all the right things” but still struggling to get quality sleep at night, I might be time to get curious on your nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle habits. Don’t be afraid to check in with your doctor as well!
Things to consider:
• Am I eating enough carbs and calories for my activity and lifestyle?
• Am I training too hard or working out too much?
• Could I be deficient in certain vitamins or minerals? (zinc, magnesium, etc)
• Could I have underlying hormone or health concerns?
• Do I need to ween back and have less caffeine and/or alcohol?
and so on (:
Bed Stuff I Love
Over the years, I’ve built a prettttty awesome bed set-up. I’m somebody who loves nerding out over product reviews (and also hates being disappointed), so I feel pretty confident that if I love this stuff, you will too!
Don’t forget to get a new pillow every ~1-2 years and replace your mattress every ~5-7 years!
Still Need More Help?
You can always check out my e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Nutrition, Muscle Gain, & Fat Loss if you want to get more details about supporting your nutrition and fitness goals (:
We’re also always posting tips like these on our Paragon Training Methods Instagram page. Follow along for some free workouts and tips for enhancing your routine!