As we all start our New Year Resolutions -I bet most of you are doing a lot that your body is probably not used to. In order to properly recover from all this new activity and lifestyle change, sleep is the most important factor! No supplement will ever replace the amount of overall recovery you get from getting a good 8 hours of sleep. Not only will sleep help you recover faster but it has been shown in studies that if you are sleep deprived you tend to eat more calories and we don’t want that now do we? Now you might be thinking, "How do I get better sleep?". First by making sure you are getting 8 hours of sleep every night, then focusing on the quality of your sleep. If you want to know more about how to get 8 hours of high-quality sleep, please continue reading...
Here is, in my opinion, the most important tip that I can give you to capitalize on these two steps. Focus on Sleep Hygiene! This may sound funny or bizarre, but it will change your life. Treat sleep seriously and you shall be greatly rewarded. Not only if your efforts to win this challenge but in nearly all aspects of life. What all does this inquire? Creating a routine around getting the best sleep possible. There are a lot of things we do as members of the 21st Century that impede our sleep quality. I will focus on two, Caffeine intake and blue light exposure.
Coffee, tea, energy drinks, and pre-workouts all often have caffeine in them. Caffeine in and of itself is not bad and can help with achieving success in efforts for losing body fat. Let us be aware however caffeine is a drug. Like most other drugs, it can easily be and most often is, abused. It is a stimulant and increases levels of the hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol can slow down your metabolism making it so you don't have to eat as much to tell your body to store body fat. Caffeine also has a half-life of 400 minutes (almost 7 hours). So, for you people who think " Caffeine doesn't affect me. I can drink coffee before I go to sleep!" I'm sorry but you are wrong. You may be able to get to sleep but your quality of sleep will be greatly diminished. Try to be aware and limit the amount of caffeine you take a day. No one "needs" over 500 mg in a day...you technically don't "need" any at all! Also, try not to have any caffeine about 7 hours before you go to bed. I still partake in caffeine because honestly, it's awesome and I love it! I have started to implicate these two simple steps and now whenever I fall off the wagon and consume too much or too late in the day, there is a notable difference the next day for me. I get irritable and crave foods that I usually don't care for at all.
Blue light exposure is needed for us to live properly but in today's world, we often get too much. Cell Phones, Laptops, Tablets, TV screens and basically any and all artificial light is overpopulated with blue light. Before all these things, the only blue light exposure we got was often from the sun. The sun also has red and yellow lights to counter. Light overall but especially blue light affects how much melatonin we make in our body. Melatonin is a hormone that can greatly influence our ability to get to sleep and stay asleep throughout the night. So when you're staring at those screens all day long and even while you're in your bed you are reducing the amount of Melatonin your body is able to make and therefore ruining your odds of getting to sleep fast and getting the deepest quality.
Focusing on sleep hygiene by limited caffeine consumption (quantity and when ingested) and blue light exposure can and will help you be successful in getting your best quality sleep. Every night you get 8 hours of high-quality sleep you will wake up the next day energized and ready to dominate! Successfully overcoming any and all obstacles life throws at you. Becoming the best version of yourself.