Photo by: Hannah Mae Photography
Do you have trouble falling asleep or find yourself waking up multiple times throughout the night? Lack of sleep can negatively impact your performance in the gym, as well as your progress. Improve your quality of zz's by asking yourself these questions -
1. What did you eat throughout the day?
Eating or drinking caffeine later in the day can affect your sleeping patterns and keep you up to the wee hours of the night. Try to keep your caffeinated indulgences to the AM hours or at least to a minimum in the afternoon. I would also recommend avoiding foods that can give you acid reflux in the evening hours, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, processed foods, sugars foods, etc.
2. What time was your last meal for the day?
Finishing your last meal too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep since your body is focused on digestion. If you're going to eat before bed, stay away from sugary, acidic, or caffeinated foods. Stick to nutrient-dense snacks such as cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, etc. (Check out my other protein-packed suggestions that are great for late-night snacks.)
3. Are you being consistent with your sleeping patterns?
As I've said many-a-time, CONSISTENCY. IS. KEY. I understand some people may have jobs that do not allow for consistent sleeping patterns, but if you are fortunate enough to have a job and lifestyle that does allow for it, stick with it! If you usually get up at 6am and go to bed at 10pm, keep it up! Even on the weekends! You will be surprised how much easier your daily routine will become once you create a rhythm.
4. Did you drink any alcohol today?
Alcohol, woof. Does that mess with your sleep or what! Not only did you stay up waaaay past your bedtime to go out on the town, but you also decided to hit up T-Bell on the way home and smashed a cheesy gordita crunch. Delicious, but yikes. That's besides the point though. Alcohol disrupts just about everything in your body: your decision making, your metabolism, and your sleeping patterns. If you have a specific health and fitness goal in mind, keep the alcohol to a minimum in order to enhance your progress.
5. What time do you stop using electronics before bed?
If you weren't aware already, the blue light illuminated by your phone disrupts your circadian rhythm. Although we all have created the habit of surfing Facebook one more time before we hit the hay, it's actually impacting our sleep more than you'd think. We also tend to reach for our phone if we randomly wake up to check the time - I get it, I want to see how many hours I have left too! What's the worst is checking the time only to find that your alarm will be going off in 3 minutes. THE. WORST. Anyway, shut off your devices at least 60 minutes before bed to improve your snooze.
Now, go get some quality shut eye!