Shorter days & higher stress can mean trouble sleeping. Luckily, Phizz friend, lifestyle coach & personal trainer Robbie Thompson has some tricks to help you unlock a major key of wellbeing- a great night of sleep.
Here is his advice for getting ahead this autumn.
One of the simplest and most effective things you can do to upgrade how you look, feel and perform is to improve your sleep.
Sleep is literally the magic pill that everyone is looking for, yet we fail to utilise it and worse still, we actually deprive ourselves of it.
Ideally, we should all be aiming for 7-9 hours of restful sleep per night. Of course, some don’t have control over sleep schedules due to young children or shift work, but many of us could get more sleep but instead choose to watch another episode on Netflix.
Here’s a scary quote from sleep guru Matthew Walker, “The shorter you sleep, the shorter your life.”
Getting insufficient sleep for prolonged periods of time can have serious implications for your health. But equally, there are endless benefit if you can improve the quality of your sleep including improved memory, enhanced creativity, increased strength and fitness, reduced body fat, strengthened immune system, increased life expectancy, improved mood and ability to handle stress.
Here are 5 simple tips to improve your sleep:
Reduce your caffeine intake after midday
Caffeine is a fantastic stimulant. That cup of coffee isn’t just delicious, it’s a great way of getting you fired up to take on the day.
But caffeine has what is called a “half-life” of up to 5-7 hours. This means that if you have a strong coffee at 4 p.m., you may still feel the effects of half of the coffee’s caffeine content at 11 p.m.
To avoid the risk of affecting your sleep, simply limit your caffeine intake after midday and instead choose water, soft drinks or herbals teas.
Have a routine
Sticking to a set pattern of going to bed and waking will mean that you find it easier to both fall asleep and wake up. This applies to weekends too!
By having late nights and lie-ins at weekends, you’re throwing your sleep pattern off every week. This means that come Sunday night, you can’t get to sleep, and on Monday morning, you can’t get up. You’re basically jet lagging yourself.
Instead, try to keep to a similar routine both throughout the week and at weekends too so your body knows when it’s time to wind down and when it’s time to start the day.
Dim the lights
Bright lights in the evening are effectively blocking all the signals telling your body it’s time to wind down for bed. Instead, try to use lamps and candles to create a calm, relaxing environment to help you begin to feel sleepy.
Do a brain dump
If you have a lot on your mind with work or life in general, the moment your head hits the pillow can be when these thoughts start flying around.
Before bed, take a piece of paper and write down everything that’s on your mind. The tasks you need to follow up tomorrow, the person you forgot to call- get it all written down.
You’ll be able to get to sleep more easily knowing the to do list is out of your head and you have it written down. Plus, you now have a plan for the next day.
It’s also worth keeping a pad and pen by your bed in case you wake up with something on your mind. You can simply note it down and go back to sleep.
Get your phone out of your bedroom
That addictive device of yours that lights up and flashes all day with notifications is extremely stimulating. You don’t want or need this whilst you’re trying to sleep.
If it’s right next to your bed, you’ll be subconsciously thinking about it and reaching for it more than you should or scrolling through it before you go to sleep when you should be winding down and switching off. Or worse, checking it during the night.
Get it out of your room so that you aren’t able to do any of this. And trust me, this will be game changing for not just your sleep but your general wellbeing.
You’ll go to bed and wake up feeling calmer and more in control.
Give these 5 simple tips a try to improve your sleep and see what a huge impact they can make on how you look, feel and perform.
Robbie is a personal trainer and lifestyle coach based in the U.K. but works with clients all over the world. His techniques go beyond helping his clients look great, and extend to performance, mindset, motivation and lifestyle. Robbie has been a coach since 2008 and has worked with hundreds of clients including celebrities, actresses and TV presenters. He contributed workouts and fitness content for Vicky Pattison’s hugely successful book, “The Real Me.” To hear more from Robbie, follow him on Instagram @robbie__thompson or check out his website www.robbie-thompson.com.