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Tips to Improve Your Sleep and Why You Should

Hi All. I wanted to share with you an article written by one of our vets, Samantha Bilby, 10 year Fusion Core member and founder of Bloom Flourish Fitness.



I for one have been very restless and not sleeping well. I also have been eating more, drinking more caffeine and watching TV or tuning in to Facebook all day and night. Here are some tips that may help you find a way to get more, much needed rest. For more good reading, you can also check out their website at www.bloomflourishfitness.com.


Improve your sleep


Is this you? You wake up exhausted, you grab your first cup of Joe. Rush to work. When the 3:00 slump comes and you go for that third cup of coffee. Too tired to workout when you get home. Dinner time already? You order something quick because the thought of cooking and cleaning is exhausting to even think about. You pour yourself a glass of wine and turn on a good movie and as the movie gets more intense, you pour more wine. Now you can’t fall asleep, so you scroll on your phone. You toss and turn all night and as soon as you finally get comfortable, your alarm goes off. Rinse and repeat.

I know we all believe we are superwoman and we can still survive on only a few hours of sleep a night, but your body thinks otherwise. Our body repairs itself when we sleep. If you are an avid gym goer but you are sleep deprived, your hard earned muscle does not get a chance to repair. Sleep deprivation increases cortisol in the body aka the stress hormone. This increase in cortisol actually slows down your metabolism and breaks down muscle. We crave sugar when we are sleep deprived. This is because leptin (the hormone that helps you feel satiated) is lowered and ghrelin (the hormone that makes us hungry) is increased. Sleep deprivation is linked to an increased chance of heart disease, depression, anxiety, weight gain, Alzheimer’s, dementia and more.

“All disease begins in the gut” — HIPPOCRATES

If you are like me, you care about your health but you also have so much to get done and so little time. Sleep is often the first thing to get sacrificed in order to have more time in the day to achieve our goals. But the truth is that getting more quality sleep will actually make us more productive and improve our health and fitness. So how do you improve your sleep? Well a better sleep actually begins as soon as you wake up. Let’s go through some healthy habits that you can add throughout your day that will help you sleep like a baby.

Morning:

  • Morning movement – move your body for as little as 5 minutes each morning. 

  • Natural sunlight – Spend 15 minutes in natural sunlight, even if it’s sitting by your window.

  • Meditation – silence your mind and be still for at least 5 minutes every morning.

Afternoon:

  • Eat nutrient dense foods especially foods containing Vitamin C, Calcium, Omega 3’s and magnesium. (i.e Salmon Citrus Salad)

  •  Cut the caffeine after 2 pm.

Evening:

  • Quit using devices (phone, tablet, TV’s) at least an hour before bedtime.

  • Stop drinking alcohol 3 hours before bed.

  • Have a night time ritual that always includes going to sleep at the same time each night (if possible.) Some ideas include an Epsom salt bath followed by a cold shower, diffusing relaxing essential oils such as lavender or cedar wood, a good fiction book that puts your brain into a dream like state.

Closing thoughts: As this article is being written the world is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and while we do not have a cure at the moment, we do know that sleep deprivation weakens the immune system. While there are quarantines taking place and many people are working from home we have an opportunity to prioritize sleep more than before. Use this as a chance to start incorporating some of these habits into your day. Many of these habits will not only boost your immune system but they will reduce stress and anxiety, something that we are all experiencing in a time like this.

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