Go figure, Sleep Awareness Week falls during daylight savings—kind of ironic, huh? I’m def feeling the shift and last night experienced insomnia. I believe it was the steak Rob and I ate because we normally don’t, but I digress.
If you don’t know by now, I’m all about the mindset, and sleep is CRUCIAL to a healthier, more focused mind. Even at 40 years old, I can totally stay up all night long and I will from time-to-time, but nothing like I used. If there is something you want to tackle first for focus, weight loss, better decisions in the kitchen, even better communication, then sleep is the perfect place to start because lack of sleep impacts ALL of what I just listed.
I wanted to keep this short and sweet, but share my top tips for Sleep Awareness Week + a Healthier Mindset
I’ve been implementing these strategies for over six years and have reaped the benefits. If I can do it, I know you can too!
Here are a few to get ya started!
From what I experience the more water I drink, the more energized I am and moving to the bathroom more often than not. This is a good thing to keep you awake and energized during the day. Then it sets you up to conk out at night, right? Just stop drinking that water about 3 hours before bedtime.
As I mentioned, I resisted early bedtime for YEARS. I never understand why people would go to bed so early, but I totally get it now. According to the book, Sleep Smarter by Health Expert, Shawn Stevenson, he suggests getting to bed by 10-11 pm. The best window of sleep is from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. because, in this window, your body has the peak production of melatonin and growth hormone. This results in a much more rejuvenating and deeper sleep than after 2:00 am.
Studies also show that moving your body for about 20 minutes between the hours of 6:00-8:00 am increase your sleep REM—the quality of your sleep. Of course, you need to try this for at least 7 days and studies show that after 16 weeks, those even with insomnia experience about 2.5 more hours of sleep per week. I know I always get a better night sleep with a good workout in the AM.
When I started cleaning up my nutrition and kitchen I got certified in two nutrition programs. With these two certifications I gained so many tricks and tips and one that stuck has worked for YEARS. It’s to not eat past 7-7:30pm during the week and to allow 2.5-3 hours for your body to digest for many reasons like preventing heartburn and insomnia (which I experienced last night and I blame the steak.) LOL
For me, I always feel so much lighter and shoot to not eat carbs with dinner Monday through Thursday and eat before 7:30 pm. I sleep better, feel more energized and it helps me maintain my weight. Now, I do eat pizza every Friday because I do not believe in deprivation.
Late Night Snack Hack:
Who else loves pistachios? So my mom recently told me she heard about this and I Googled it, it’s true! Pistachios hit the sleep-inducing jackpot, packing in protein, vitamin B6, and magnesium, all of which contribute to better sleep. BUT….refrain from a shell-cracking party. Anything too high in calories can have the reverse effect of keeping you awake!
There you go my friends, a few tips to get you to start with your sleep game. Accept the challenge, appreciate trying something new, and appreciate the science that helps us achieve a healthier lifestyle.