The incredible Jay Revan joins us to share top tips on getting enough sleep. Jay is a professional boxing coach and athlete with a huge wealth of knowledge in health, fitness, and performance.
The importance of sleep for mind, body, and performance
I am sure we all value sleep, but how many of us really understand its importance?
Sleep plays a very important role in allowing us to maintain a healthy body and mind, as well as helping you to improve your athletic performance. Getting enough sleep every night is absolutely crucial and closely linked to quality of life.
Prioritising sleep alongside nutrition and regular exercise is something we can all do to improve in most areas of our daily lives. Below you will find 5 simple tips that you can implement right now to increase the quality of your sleep and more importantly, the quality of your life.
How to Improve your quality of sleep
1) Physical Activity
Engaging in physical activity is key to quality sleep. The effects of physical activity are sometimes overlooked, but one of the key benefits is improved sleep depth. Regular cardiovascular and strength training can really help to improve the quality of your sleep.
The one thing I talk to my clients about all the time is consistency. Whether it be the time of day you train or a particular class or session that you attend every day or week, staying consistent with your training will really help you to develop a more consistent sleeping pattern.
Remember, movement at any time of the day is beneficial and there is no right or wrong time for you to train. Just find what works best for you.
Creating routine in your life will help you to create a steadier sleeping pattern. Ensure that your routine has sleep in mind. Ensuring your daily schedule incorporates sleep is the easiest way to make sure you get adequate sleep each night.
Follow a consistent sleep schedule by setting a time to go to bed and a time to wake up. And remember, healthy adults should sleep about seven to nine hours each night.
This is something that can be implemented straight away. If you are able to stay consistent with it, the time that you go to bed will soon become a natural healthy habit.
Creating a good sleeping environment is crucial. We spend about a third of our day in our bedroom, so ensure that space is comfortable and a space that you look forward to spending time in.
When thinking about creating the perfect sleeping environment for you, consider temperature and lighting. You want to ensure the temperature is one that is comfortable. If you find you are too warm or too cold when getting into bed this will interfere with your ability to switch off and get a good nights sleep.
Lighting plays an important role in helping the brain switch off at night. Try to reduce the amount of artificial lighting in the room before bed, keep the room dark and avoid using your phone once you get into bed. At least 30 minutes before, if you can!
Now as much as we all love a good caffeine hit, there is absolutely a time and place for it. That time is definitely not before you’re about to go to bed!
Try to limit your caffeine intake across the day if possible. Caffeine is known as a stimulant and because it helps to stimulate the central nervous system, after ingestion, caffeine can remain in the body for about 4-6 hours.
Plan your caffeine intake accordingly so it does not interfere with your sleep. Try some herbal teas or decaffeinated options after 3pm and those long nights tossing and turning will soon become something you only dream about.
Removing all electronics, especially phones and laptops, from your bed time routine will absolutely improve the quality of your sleep. Although this is something we all tend to know, for some reason it is the one thing that we just can’t seem to stay committed to.
I know how much of a challenge this can be, especially as we are surrounded by phones, smart devices and computers in our day to day lives. However, it is important that we can disconnect as we approach our bed time and allow the brain to switch off naturally.
Using electronics so close to bed can disrupt the body’s natural circadian rhythm which will impact the body’s ability to sleep. Start with 30 minutes before bed and aim to increase that over time. Here's to making the switch from smart phones to smart sleep!
Sleep plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy body and mind. It’s an essential part of life and quality sleep can help you feel rested and restored. Start by making small changes. Over time this will translate into improvements in exercise performance and quality of life. Find opportunities where you could improve your night time routine and make smarter choices to help improve your quality of sleep. Sweet dreams!
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For more information on overall wellness that contributes to your sleeping patterns, please check out more articles here on the Wellness Hub.