It doesn’t matter how many hours you put in at the gym or pounding the pavements. It doesn’t matter if you go to yoga and stretch every day, it doesn’t even matter if you eat the perfect diet. If you don’t get enough sleep you won’t recover right and you definitely won’t see improvements in your performance. It’s time to put your rest and recovery first and use these top five tips for better sleep.
How to Sleep Better
1. Pick a Bedtime
We know you’re a grown up now but you really should have a bedtime. Having a set time when you go to sleep and wake up makes it a lot easier for your body to get into a routine. This goes for the weekend too by the way – those long lie ins might actually be doing more harm than good.
2. Get Active
A nice easy one. Adding in daily movement and getting outside is a great way to improve the quality of your shuteye. It doesn’t need to be intense activity (and it definitely shouldn’t be right before you go to bed) just enough to use up some energy. Even 10 minutes a day has shown to improve sleep quality.
3. Ditch the Screens
You knew it was coming. The blue light emitted by your phone, tablet or laptop blocks the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle. You might think that you feel relaxed scrolling through cat videos but in fact it’s stimulating your brain and stopping you from getting sleep. Try to avoid screens for an hour or so before bed (sorry).
4. Eat and Drink Right
Your overall health has a huge impact on your quality of sleep. That means eating a varied, fresh diet is a sure fire way to catch more zzz. More specifically though, try to avoid large meals too close to bed and limit how much caffeine and alcohol you consume in a day too. Some people do benefit from a late night snack though, try a banana or yoghurt if you’re feeling peckish.
5. Keep a Diary
If after adjusting these lifestyle factors you still find yourself feeling tired, or struggling to drop off then it can be useful to keep a sleep diary. Note down how well you sleep each night and the changes you make to your sleep routine. This can help you identify what’s working and what isn’t.
Now you’ve optimised your sleep, you’ll be raring to go and ready to crush your next fitness goal. How about the ASICS London 10K?