How to Get Better Sleep
Today let’s talk about rest. Sleep is one of my favorite things to help teach clients, and sleep issues are sometimes the most difficult to solve. But one of the most powerful things we can do is get better sleep. Did you know that people who optimize sleep always have the best health health outcomes regardless of diet, regardless of their health condition- sleep trumps everything. In studies they take two different groups of folks that eat the same amount of calories. Those that get better sleep, they are leaner, automatically, every single time and every single study. Sleep does so much for us!
Benefits of Better Sleep
Let’s just talk about a couple of benefits. One is insulin sensitivity. When we consume meals, we get insulin-insulin is a satiating hormone. It also communicates to the cells that store nutrients. If you don’t get enough sleep, you risk getting insulin resistant, which can lead to prediabetes and even type two diabetes. Lack of sleep also promotes inflammation in the body. So when we get better sleep, better insulin sensitivity, you also get the flip side of that which is a better glucose tolerance. Glucose tolerance means when we consume carbohydrates, sugars, hopefully healthy sugars, like fruit and healthy starches , those are going to go toward building muscle instead of fat. Muscle tissue is a big furnace. You can burn that off even if you’re not lifting all the time. Muscle is still very biologically active compared to adipocytes, which is your fat tissue. So let’s get better sleep. How can we do that?
No Screens Before Bed
Number one, this is non negotiable: No screen time before bed. Get an old fashioned paperback book. Read a magazine, draw pictures, write in your journal. Do yoga. Get away from screens at night! You have to stop telling your brain that hey, it’s daylight. That’s what you’re doing with all those lights and your body is not going to want to calm down, especially your mind, and you mess up your hormones. Hormones have a diurnal secretion. They’re supposed to have a wave like effect. You’re supposed to get very consistent with sleep and wake times and mealtimes. Your life should be somewhat predictable. That’s how we get good health outcomes because we get a rhythm and our body knows what to expect. When it doesn’t know what to expect? Guess what happens? Stress. Cortisol increases. So I want you to work on consistent wake times, and we’ve got to get rid of screens at night. No exceptions, it’s non-negotiable. There’s just no work around here. It can take a little bit to get used to because you might be a little bit dependent on that. I’m with you. We’re walking alongside each other on this journey.
Another tip, if you’re in a colder climate, is to sleep with socks on. This has been shown to really help people get better sleep at night. A few more tips- you can drink chamomile tea before bed. I’m also big on deep breathing before bed. It really calms the nervous system. Restorative yoga is a great practice in the evening. Not high powered strength yoga, some of those restorative positions like happy baby pose, child’s pose, things that chill you out.
Make improving your sleep a priority and you’ll see your overall health improve!