Let’s get personal and chat a little about your nocturnal behavior…
Although Z may be the last letter of the alphabet, your Zzz’s can be your first line of defense in winning the battle of health, wellness & weight loss. Yes, that’s right mama’s, you can sleep your way to that bod you have always wanted (and yes, I mean this both literally and “bow chicka wow wow”).
Most people do not realize how freaking important sleep is to health and fitness.
Without getting all sciencey on you, what basically happens when you don’t get enough sleep is a poop storm of hormonal imbalances, metabolic dysfunctions and your bodies inability to efficiently repair itself and process the information from the day. So basically, other than those puffy bags under your eyes, sleep deprivation leads to things like obesity, diabetes and also cognitive issues.
Now, before you go off and tell your SO that you need more sleep, let’s dive in a little further.
As much as sleeping like a bear in hibernation might sounds amazing to you right now, it isn’t just the quantity of sleep that matters, but the quality. You can hit that sweet spot of 7-9 hours of sleep that the average adult requires and still end up being “sleep deprived” if the quality of that sleep was not up to par.
So, what can you do?
First, aim for the 7-9 hour window of sleep every night. Although quantity isn’t the only factor, it is still an important one. Experiment with this to see where your sleep sweet spot is. Your body goes through cycles and if you wake up one day after trying 8 hours of sleep feeling over tired and groggy, you may have woken yourself up in the middle of one of your sleep cycles. To remedy this, adjust your wake time by 30min- 1 hour (in either direction) and see how you feel the next day. If you wake up feeling more refreshed and clear minded, you’ve found your sleep sweet spot. You can make this adjustment in your bedtime as well, just try and aim to be asleep by 10/11pm as between then and 2am is an important balanced sleep window that is your bodies peak regenerative time.
Now that you know your sleep sweet spot timing, let’s chat what you can do to improve that quality even more!
What you do before bed matters.
Yup, It isn’t all about the sleeping, but what you do (or do not do) prior to bed. Are you on your phone, computer or other device? Did you just finish a work out? Are you full from a meal? Are you stressed about the day? Are you and your SO in a fight?
All of these factors can impact your sleep!
So, let’s chat screen time.
Before I loose you, did you know that not only is screen time prior to bed negatively affecting sleep, but it may also be negatively impacting your bow chicka wow wow time? Yup, a recent study has shown that couples who have a television in their room have sex 6% less often than couples who do not.
Now, as a busy & often tired mom myself, I know that I need that option to be open 100% of the time based on other limiting factors (like toddlers night terrors, plain exhaustion from the day, etc). So, with cell phones, laptops and televisions being in the bedroom you are less likely to “get some." This is not in your favor for two reasons… One being the “O”bvious reason and the other being the less “O”bvious reason. Yes, orgasms.
Not only is sex fun, but it is good for your sleep! The hormones released after reaching the “O” are great for getting sleepy. And, bonus, being more well rested, increases your sex drive… and round it round it goes! So one of the best things you can do for your sleep tonight is to keep your bedroom a sacred place, reserved solely for S&S. That means no tv’s, work, cell phones and only you and your SO cuddling and canoodling.
If you want to be even more of a sleep rock star, here are some other sleep hacks you can implement to get some quality R&R back into your life:
No screen time 1-2 hours prior to bed (the blue light that it emits has been shown to hinder sleep)
Do not eat too close to your bedtime (typically no food around 3 hours prior). When you sleep, you want your body to repair itself on a cellular level (ie anitaging) and not have to worry about putting its energy into digesting your food from your last meal.
Set your sleep space up for the best sleep possible.
Remove electronic devices from your bedroom.
Invest in black out curtains (the darker your room, the better).
Try out some essential oils like lavender or jasmine. Either with a diffuser like this one or you can sprinkle a couple of drops on your pillow.
Have the room temperature be between 60-68 degrees which is the optimal temperature to support our bodies core temperature during sleep.
Have your room be a quiet space, or if you live in a noisy location, invest in a sound machine.
Make sure your pillow and mattress support you properly & are made from as natural of material as possible or at least no chemical flame retardant.
Invest in comfy, organic sheets.
Enjoy some Bow Chicka Wow Wow time.
Decrease caffeine intake & limit to morning hours. Caffeine has a half life of around 5 hours which means if you drink a serving of coffee at 2pm (about 200mg) by 7pm you will still have 100 mg of caffeine in your system & midnight, 50mg.
If you are going to have an adult beverage, opt in for happy hour and stop drinking at least 3 hours prior to going to bed and have at least 8 ounces of water to every alcoholic beverage you consume. This allows your body the opportunity to process the alcohol out of your system before you hit the hay and keep you hydrated (you will thank your past self the next morning when you do not wake up with a hangover).
Try some deep belly breathing techniques to melt the stressors from the day away and help focus-in on the task at hand, calming down to rest.
Hope these tips help you from counting sheep and get you on the path to some quality, weight loss promoting sleep!
Until next time, Live Happy, Eat Healthy, Dream Big!
Check out Minnie’s link - she took that great photo.