We all know that 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep is ideal for overall health. Not only during this time do our bodies repair and rebuild, waking up feeling rejuvenated makes us more productive during the day. Sleep is our right. Running on 4 or 5 hours of sleep is no bragging right.
Research shows that meeting the required amount of sleep helps to reduce our stress hormone cortisol which is the hormone that makes our bodies retain belly fat. It is also vital to balance the hormone grehlin which is responsible for triggers cravings. And when this hormone becomes confused, our bodies do not have the same sense of satiety.
Practice a routine before hitting the sack that includes a dark room with no distractions like cell phones or power indicator light.
Make sure you eat dinner at least two hours prior to your bedtime. Our bodies are not resting if they are digesting food! Not only can this cause issues like acid reflex, it will keep your mind a racing.
Below are some other tips that work for me to promote a deeper, quality sleep.
This may include taking an epsom salt bath, lighting a few flameless light candles, and enjoying a small mug of chamomile tea.
I teach several intense fitness classes a week, which means I not only burn a lot of energy physically, but I’m also always mentally engaged: prepping for class, motivating my students and personal training clients, brainstorming new ways to make classes more challenging and fun. So when I get home, I wash out my lunch dishes and enjoy putting my dinner together and lunch for the next day (that’s already been prepped) watching my favourite shows like Marilyn and Cityline! You may prefer relaxing music as I do sometimes. Unplugging for the last few minutes of this and taking a moment to be truly thankful for the food I’m about to eat makes all the difference. Chewing slowly, really appreciating and tasting every bite brings mindfulness to the experience and ensures I am aiding digestion too!
Every night, set the table for breakfast and your meals the next morning. If you have a family, it’s important to have a sit-down meal with them —not one of those eating while standing or running out the door ordeals. It’s nothing too fancy or over the top, just placemats, plates, napkins, and cups. Sitting down for breakfast sets the tone for the day, and it’s time that allows you to spend time with your partner and family.
I recently adopted a pre-bed habit of opening a quote book to a random page and reflecting on the message. One of my favourites is Dr. Wayne Dwyer or Bob Proctor. In some ways I think there is a bit of fate involved in the selection of the quote and what I should be focusing on in life. You can do this with your partner and kids as well; it’s a thought-provoking way to reflect on the day and calm the mind.
Whether it’s a note on your calendar or do you prefer old school – a physical calendar, the key is to review and set reminders in it. Make it your life-bible that you use consistently keeping the big picture always close at hand. Work, family, and social commitments are all entered and read nightly.
Write down on a piece of paper anything that no longer serves you that was a challenge you overcame that no longer needs to rent space in the brain. Rather than reflecting heavily upon this information, the mere act of writing out any baggage or negative things that may have happened that day can put an end to the hamster to stop going around the wheel.
Everything starts in the mind so to attract more positive energy and to build yourself up, practice writing and dwelling upon the goodness in our lives.
Write down 2 things you feel proud for accomplishing that day
Write down 2 things you are grateful for at that very moment.
Write down a list of to-do items to do the next day. If your list is longer than you would like, look at it instead as a plan. It’s less overwhelming if items are listed step by step rather than going to bed wondering how you will complete a large task.
In addition, remember the sense of satisfaction that comes with striking items off your list tomorrow.
Once I go to bed, I am prepared. It’s my sense of security and I find it can lull you off to sleep.
Turn off the computer and devices at least half an hour before getting into bed and spend about 10 minutes lying on a foam roller, kneading out your legs, glutes, and back. Research has shown that foam rolling reduces muscle fatigue and soreness, whether you are doing it after a tough workout or after commuting or sitting in an office all day. It’s a relaxing ritual, and it helps me to wake up less stiff in the morning and younger!
Watch for next week’s blog and learn some amazing benefits to use the foam roller along with specific ways to use this amazing mind – body tool.
We are so happy to announce the addition of a foam roller class to our website. Click here for our class schedule.
Our members are loving foam rolling, the recent workshop we had was very well received. You can also learn more about how to use the foam roller at our complementary equipment orientations. Again, refer to our online class schedule for our weekly times for these. Sign up for an equipment orientation today!