Sleep is important for many things, like keeping you less stressed and more alert.
It’s also vital if you’re trying to lose weight.
Getting the best out of your nightly rest means you’ll be more likely to eat smarter, feel better, and hit your weight loss goals faster.
If you don’t sleep enough, you may feel hungrier for unhealthy snacks, and this can lead to putting on some extra pounds.
A good way to make sure you’re getting a great night’s sleep is by practicing good sleep hygiene.
Sleep hygiene is all about building routines to improve the quality of your sleep.
Today we bring you 6 ways to improve your sleep hygiene and build healthy sleeping habits to help you get the best quality sleep and succeed in your weight loss journey!
1. Improve your sleep quality with a sleep schedule
If there’s one thing that our bodies like, it’s regularity.
Consistency is key to getting good quality sleep, and one way to let your body know it’s time for bed is by creating a regular bedtime routine.
Going to bed at a similar time each night helps you sync your body clock – helping you regulate your hormones and appetite.
So keeping to that 10:30 sleep curfew can actually help you stick to your meal plan and lose weight.
A regular bedtime routine is all about picking a couple of relaxing things that work for you.
Some people prefer to get into comfy pj’s and get settled with a good book.
Others take a relaxing bath with candles and soft, soothing music.
Your bedtime routine doesn’t start just before bedtime either, as it’s important to limit any daytime sleeping too.
If you can avoid it, try not to nap in the afternoon. If you really have to, try to keep it to a half-hour max.
This is because oversleeping in the daytime can confuse your body clock and lead to sleepless nights.
Routines take time to build, so take time to figure out what works for you, and you’ll be on your way to a better quality snooze in no time.
2. Create the perfect environment for high-quality rest
It’s not only what you do before sleeping that counts, but where you do it.
Creating the best environment for sleep is a crucial factor in getting yourself a great night’s rest.
Try to keep distractions to a minimum and let your brain know that it’s time for bed.
Have a look at these tips and add them to your nightly routine to boost your sleep quality:
- Use your bed just for sleeping – keep your work and sleep space separate to let your brain know that the bed is for sleeping only.
- Ditch the screens – blue light from phones and tablets can tell your brain that it’s still daytime and stop you from getting sleepy.
- Keep it dark – use blackout blinds or an eye mask to block out distracting light.
- Keep it cool – The recommended temperature for a good night’s rest is between 60-67 F.
- Keep it quiet – you can use earplugs to block out noise that might keep you up.
- Get comfy – making sure you’re comfortable is one of the best ways to send you off in record time.
- Only get into bed when you’re tired – we all know that tossing and turning can be frustrating, so make sure you’re feeling a little bit sleepy before slipping between the sheets.
By improving your sleep, you’ll feel more energized, well-rested, and ready to smash your weight loss goals.
3. Fuel your body for a good night’s sleep
Your body is a machine.
And like any machine, you need the right fuel to keep it working at peak performance.
Sure, food and drink help keep you going through the day, but they can also have a huge impact on your sleep.
Making sure you make the right food and drink choices is key to getting a good night’s sleep and getting your body ready to smash your weight loss journey.
A lot of us need a coffee or two in the morning to get going.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but having too much caffeine can cause serious trouble when getting to sleep.
Caffeine is a stimulant, so it speeds your body up, which can affect your sleep, so make sure to enjoy caffeine in moderation and switch to decaf in the afternoon.
Watch out for other caffeine sources, it’s not just coffee that can give you a buzz and damage your sleep.
Some sodas like cola can contain around 34 mg of caffeine per can, so double-check the ingredients and avoid caffeine late in the day for a sure way to improve your sleep.
It’s best to enjoy alcohol in moderation.
And if you’re aiming to improve your sleep quality, you might wanna swap that G&T for a soft drink.
Alcohol can make you feel sleepy and make you feel like you drift off easier at first, but its initial effects can be misleading.
In fact, a couple of drinks can disrupt your sleep, wake you up at night, and decrease sleep quality.
So to make sure you’re getting enough quality rest, ditching alcohol can make all the difference and set you up to hit those weight loss goals.
There’s even the added bonus of reducing empty calorie intake too!
Try high-protein foods
If you’re looking to improve your sleep it’s worth keeping an eye on your diet too.
Especially foods high in protein and carbohydrates.
Turns out, these foods could make you feel sleepier and help your body prepare for bed.
You can find high protein foods everywhere, so try adding some of these to your evening meal:
- Turkey and chicken.
- Tofu and soy.
- Fish, especially tuna.
- Nuts and seeds.
- Cheese and milk.
A better diet and avoiding certain drinks can lead to a more peaceful rest, which can help you stick to your meal plan and hit your weight loss goals sustainably.
4. Avoid eating too late
Same as with having a consistent bedtime, to build a good sleep routine it’s important to have your dinner at a similar time every night.
This is because your mealtime can affect your body clock, which tells your body when you’re hungry and when it’s time to sleep.
So eating late or at inconsistent times can confuse your brain and send you the wrong signals, increasing your cravings late at night or making you feel sleepy throughout the day.
It’s also been found that people who eat later during the day eat more calories overall, which can be bad news if you’re trying to lose weight.
We know it’s not always possible to avoid eating late, and if it comes to it, try to have something light and healthy.
5. Reduce stress to sleep better and keep the pounds off
We all get stressed sometimes, and if you’re looking to improve your sleep hygiene, this is something you want to work on.
Stress is linked to trouble sleeping, which can lead to bad quality sleep.
Taking the time to destress and relax throughout the day and before bed is fundamental to making sure you get a good night’s sleep.
To destress before bed you can:
- Add lavender scent to your bath or pillow, to help lower stress and anxiety.
- Play calming music before bed.
- Take a bath to loosen up your body.
- Try mindfulness meditation to lower your stress levels.
Destressing is important for your health, and adding it into your bedtime routine is a great way of finishing your day on a calming, positive note.
6. Do some moderate exercise
Another great way to boost your sleep hygiene is by adding some moderate exercise to your daily routine.
This is a weight loss double whammy, as it sets your body up for a great night’s sleep while also burning calories.
Scientists have found that moderate exercise in the day helps you fall asleep faster and boosts the quality of your sleep.
Even moderate cardio exercises, like brisk walking or cycling, increase the amount of deep sleep you get, and help you to smash your weight loss goals the next day.
Try to get a little exercise done at least a few hours before bedtime to give your body a chance to calm back down before bed.
If you’re pressed for time or space, take a look at these quick exercises to do at home.
Good sleep hygiene can help you lose weight
Sleep hygiene is the key to getting better quality sleep and having a more restful night.
And since sleep is so important for weight loss, taking these tips on board means you’ll be more prepared to hit your weight loss goals, consistently.
So try out these sleep hygiene tips for weight loss and see which ones work for you.
Remember, what works for me might not work for you, so focus on yourself and you’ll be on your way to better sleep quality and faster weight loss.