We may wax poetic about the benefits of working out, but the real poets are out there talking about something that’s (dare we say) even more important than a regular fitness routine. We’re talking about sleep.
If you’re experiencing springtime sleeplessness, you’re not alone. The increased daylight hours cause hormonal changes and inhibit melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep.
We can’t turn back the clock, but we can help. If you have trouble going to sleep or find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, try these four sleep hacks and prepare to feel rested in the morning!
Ban this from your bedroom for better sleep
“Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired…”
William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 27 is relatable to almost everyone. How often have you laid in bed, eager for rest, to find that your mind will not cooperate? Leave your screens and — if at all possible— any thoughts about work for the office, not the bedroom.
Decreasing your blue light exposure before bedtime can help you catch more ZZZZs. If you must use your phone and have an iPhone, enable the night shift to make your screen easier on the eyes with warm tones instead of blue light.
Room temperature for better sleep
Bears aren’t the only ones who sleep best during wintertime. We may not hibernate, but humans sleep best in cooler weather too. Most doctors recommend keeping your bedroom between 60 and 72°F for a good night’s rest. As you sleep, your core body temperature decreases, and keeping your room cooler promotes your body’s natural response.
What to eat for better sleep
We have a whole entire blog post on what to eat (and avoid) for better sleep, but here are a few of our favorites:
- Chamomile tea – the chemical compound apigenin in the chamomile can produce a natural sedative effect
- Almonds – Dry-roasted almonds contain melatonin and antioxidants
- Turkey – the tryptophan in turkey promotes the release of serotonin, which will boost your levels of relaxation
Add these food items and avoid caffeine and alcohol for a restful night’s sleep.
Time your workouts for better sleep
The Sleep Foundation knows a thing or two about sleep, and they’ve reported that the latest studies show there is no one-size-fits-all time to work out for better sleep. For some, early morning runs are key to a good night’s rest by stimulating an earlier release of melatonin and the regulation of your circadian rhythm. Your chronotype (your body’s natural instinct for sleep timing) plays a bigger role than the hands on a clock, though. Early birds should steer clear of nighttime workouts, while night owls may not be as affected by a late-night fitness sesh.
Most agree that at least 150 minutes of exercise each week is crucial in improving sleep duration, so be sure to include regular workouts in your weekly routine. We’re not going to claim Enhancewell Fitness classes as a replacement for your nightly melatonin, but you can’t argue with the science linking sleep and exercise.