Sleep is such an important part of weight loss! A good night’s sleep promotes a faster metabolism, speeds up post-workout recovery, decreases hunger and cravings during the day, and helps you to be energized for your daily exercise. Sleep loss can make it harder for your body to burn extra fat and increase the risk of weight gain. If you want to know how to improve sleep quality, here are a few simple and highly effective tips:
Avoid Late Coffees
If you have caffeine after 2 PM, it’s going to interfere with your sleep quality. While you may not have a hard time dozing off, the caffeine will stop you from getting into the deeper stages of sleep—the stages where you’re actually relaxed and resting. Your last coffee of the day should be consumed no later than 2 PM if you’re getting to sleep around 10 or 11 PM at night.
Get the Environment Right
A proper sleep environment is crucial for solid, undisturbed hours of rest. You sleep easiest when the room is cooled to between 65 and 75 degrees, and there should be total darkness and as little external noise as possible. The environment should be comfortable, with relaxing colors that help to ease stress and shut down your mind at night. Find a bed, pillow, blanket, and sheets that make you feel comfortable!
One of the best tips on how to improve sleep quality is to exercise. Exercise not only tires your body out, but it helps to de-stress your mind. Studies have proven that vigorous exercise can drastically improve sleep quality, enabling you to shut down mentally and physically to get a solid night of rest. Just avoid exercising less than 2 hours before going to sleep, as that will stimulate your body rather than helping to shut it down at night.
Did you know that using electronics late at night can interfere with your sleep? The bright blue light of your smartphone, computer screen, or TV will stimulate your brain and stop your body from increasing melatonin production. Blue light late at night can throw off your circadian rhythms and make it harder to get to sleep, as well as interfere with sleep quality. If you have to be on your devices, consider using a sleep shield—a special screen for your mobile devices that filters out the light that messes with your circadian rhythms.
A cold shower can help to chill your body on a hot day, but a hot shower will have a positive effect on your sleepiness. When you take a hot shower, you raise your core body temperature by a few degrees. Once you step out, your body temperature will drop back to normal, but this lowering will signal to your body that it’s time to produce melatonin to help you sleep. This sneaky trick will help to improve your sleep quality and make you feel asleep a lot quicker at night.
Cut Back on Alcohol and Nicotine
Nicotine before bed will not only prolong the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep, but it can stop you from falling into the deeper stages of sleep. If you’re a heavy smoker, try to ensure your last cigarette is no less than 90 minutes before going to sleep. Alcohol may help you to fall asleep faster, but it will interfere with sleep quality. You’re better off having a glass of wine over lunch or an early dinner instead of knocking back a shot to help you drift off at night.