A question I regularly ask my clients is: how do you sleep?
Do you feel energised…or do you wake up every day feeling like death, drowning yourself in coffee just to stay alert?
If it’s more the latter option, this your gentle reminder that it’s not good if you constantly feel lethargic or exhausted. It could not only mean that something more serious is up with your body, but it can heavily affect your results from a good exercise and eating regime.
Generally, you should aim to feel pretty fresh most days with tiredness as a rarity – not the norm. Obviously it’s not always feasible as life gets in the way – but that is the aim.
Most people know what amount of sleep that is for them. For me, it’s 8-9 hrs. Not 7, but 8. After 3 days of 6-7, I personally start to feel pretty exhausted and more hungry than normal.
This is because our bodies crave sugar when we are tired for energy boosts. We become more emotional or reactive, more negative, less motivated. We are less able lift heavy or even move as much as you would normally do.
This causes your energy balance to became way off – you are moving less and potentially eating more. Hence why “tiredness” can seriously effect an otherwise sound exercise and eating regime.
For some people, this 6-7 hour is pretty adequate and their number might before 5 or 6 the exhaustion to kick in. But being a 5-6hr / night person doesn’t make you a martyr or any more “CEO” / Margret Thatcher / machine- like than others. If you need more, you need more. Prioritise it, don’t beat yourself up and continue struggling on (like others you might know.)
After thinking about what your adequate number per night might be imagine sticking to it for a solid 7 days. How do you feel? I guarantee you feel more relaxed, generally happier and have a more proactive approach to your health and wellbeing. Your recovery from your workouts will be better. Your food choices will be better better.
But it’s not only the quantity that is important – but the quality.
So I’ve put together a number of techniques you can use to get yourself into deeper, restful sleep:
- get to bed and wake up at the exact same time (even on the weekend)
- don’t do anything too “mind active” before you go to sleep so you are in a relaxed state. No reading of anything work related, watching screens, scrolling etc etc
- have a warm bath or shower, the cooling down process after these is scientifically proven to make you more sleepy.
- dimming your lights for 1 hour before bed
- keeping your room relatively cool.
- Using “downtime” feature on your iPhone to make sure you don’t use it after bedtime and from the second you wake up
- If you are struggling to sleep, listen to a Headspace app sleep cast to wind down after a particularly stressful day.
If you find any of these helpful – be sure to let me know via instagram @annarhodesfitness.