More often than not our days don’t feel quite long enough. Imagine all the success you could achieve with an additional 5 hours in the day, or imagine the changes that would happen with an entire extra day in the week.
Although in life, wishful thinking does not always equate to reality, balancing your responsibilities and goals can often feel like navigating a minefield. When everything feels like priority one, while very few things actually are, we find ourselves feeling limited throughout our days.
In most cases our self care is the first thing we will sacrifice. Whether that be the workout you were looking forward to, the diet you’ve practiced religiously, or the precious sleep your body so desperately desires, we often jeopardize our well being for more time.
For many active individuals, sleep is often the most common aspect to be negotiated. The familiar justification that “I’ll just wake up earlier” or “I can stay up later” might not be the most effective route.
Next time you decide to write-off your need for sleep, consider a few of these side effects:
How Sleep Affects Exercise
● Improvements in overall performance
● Faster reaction timing and increased agility, flexibility, motivation
● Longer and improved endurance
● Increased focused and impactful workouts
● Improved mood and increased energy
● Rest promotes body recovery, muscle memory and growth
How Exercise Affects Sleep
● Regulate blood pressure and cholesterol
● Shorter REM (Lightest Sleep Stage)
● Reduces stress and worry
● Boosts immunity and overall readiness
● Increased ability to fall asleep and stay asleep
● Manage cravings and appetite
● Longer durations of sleep
Simple Ways to Improve Rest:
● Limit distraction in the bedroom, quiet the mind and de-stimulate the senses. Learn more here.
● Create a familiar and regular night routines. This promotes tiredness and regularity for a habitual sleep pattern.
● Prepare for sleep. Consider relaxing with music, reading, a hot bath, warm tea, deep breathing or relaxing activities. Consider the sleep benefits of yoga, meditation, and stretching.
● Limit the intake of excessive caffeine and sugar too close to bedtime.
● When possible take a quick but restoring nap during the day to recharge (a 20-30 minute nap has great benefits).
● Don’t undergo vigorous exercises immediately before bed. Allow your body enough time to cool down before trying to unwind and sleep
● Add extra light exercises throughout the day. (Walk the stairs, park further away, workplace squats)
● Use your bedroom as a sanctuary for sleep. The atmosphere and energy in the bedroom should complement the onset of peaceful rest.
● Find a way to destress and clear your mind. A busy mind is often the biggest burden to your ZZZs.
● Examine and replace your sleep essentials. Well engineered memory foam beds are ideal for spinal alignment and full body support.