Sleep is the most underrated activity for most people, especially those of us who juggle many hats during the day. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of looking at your phone for too long, then realising it’s 10pm! Or worst still, not being able to pull yourself away from that Netflix documentary. These things do happen and will get out of control if you don’t set some easy parameters.
I want to give you some very different tips on sleep, in which you may not have even thought would impede your quality and quantity of shut eye. It helps to be as informed as possible, on as many levels to realise if the activity or your diet could be in fact, stopping it.
3 top tips for the perfect nights sleep that you may not have realised
- Make sure you exercise regularly and at the right times. Making exercise part of your daily routine is very important for health, and also increasing your quality of sleep. The opposite effect can happen when you exercise too late in the evening. This could elevate cortisol, which can bring on bouts of insomnia.
Too much exercise that includes high intensity training, chronic or intense cardio sessions, or twice a day cardio can lead to elevated inflammation and hormonal imbalances.
Keep your work outs to one hour or less, and avoid frequent high intensity exercise, or training twice a day. You will notice a huge shift in your stress levels, making it a lot easier to get a deep, good nights sleep.
Also, be aware that an adequate amount of sleep is needed in order to perform exercise optimally, and minimise the risk of injury.
- Are you eating enough carbs? Although diets like low carb, high fat are very popular, extremely low carb consumption may alter your circadian rhythms because it decreases thyroid function.
In the absence of carbs, the body produces glucose in the liver from protein. This process can become taxing on the body, leading to poor thyroid function. This is is why paleo and low carb diets start to become ineffective over a long period of time.
Serotonin aids in sleep and improves your mood. This is also affected by diets that are low in carbs. Of course, you still want to keep your carbohydrate intake low, but fluctuate the amount during different periods of activity. Keep this in mind if you are dieting.
- Have you been restricting calories, or fasting? There are many benefits that coincide with fasting and restricting calories. You not only lose body fat, but you increase your longevity. Unfortunately with both of these instances, it can activate neurons in the brain, keeping you alert and awake.
This in fact was an evolutionary adaptation. Hunter gatherer ancestors lacked food, and needed an enhanced level of mental clarity, as well as optimal brain function to allow the drive for seeking food sources. This characteristic is highly unlikely to be of use now, and can in fact be a hindrance when it comes to sleep. To combat this, make sure you are getting the adequate amount of calories needed daily, as well as your required protein intake. Structure your meals when it’s most suitable to you.
I do hope these tips help you. There would be so many generic sleep tips that everyone will probably already be familiar with. These ones are out of the box, catering more to people that are dieting and physically fit. Let me know if I can help you with this in further detail.
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