With everything in the world that has been going on
A lot of us – understandably – have / are experiencing feelings of anxiousness…
When / will things be back to normal?
Will it all go to plan?
But one thing that is – quite often – overlooked
^^ mainly because it isn’t such a sexy topic compared to superfoods, magic fat burning exercises and supplements
Something that impacts your energy
Which as a result, it impacts:
→ Your perception of how ‘hard’ something feels
→ your ability to handle stress
→ Your hunger hormones (just one bad night of sleep and you could perceive foods to be more rewarding than they actually are)
→ relationships (“he keeps me up all night…….No, not for that…because he snores)
I could go on…
And unlike a lot of people selling some magical supplement…
I like to focus on the basics and getting to the bottom of these deep rooted problems.
You see, when I am talking to some of the ladies about their fitness, weight loss goals, or eating habits …
The topic of sleep will rarely come up unless I bring it up..
We all seem to want to talk about ‘bad’ carbs, breakfast, fasting, keto, free foods, and vegan diets…
Forgetting about one thing that probably trumps all for your immune system, energy, recovery, mood, and maybe even weight loss given that it impacts your hunger…
And when I do bring it up..
People will often say things like:
‘I don’t sleep much but I am used to it”
Only to then mention how they are tired in the afternoons, fee; out of control snacking, are tired and hungry…
“I get to sleep OK but I wake up in the night”
I get it.
There is no one simple solution here.
I have two kids (4 and 2) and sometimes you literally just have to get on with life with little sleep.
^^ although I must say that me and Mrs Fruci are finally feeling ‘normal’ now the kids have got that bit older and sleep is back (for now…anyway)…Thank you Glow Clock.
But on the topic of sleep, it’s no secret that a lack of sleep and generally feeling tired can make those energy dips even worse..
Leading to a ‘perception’ that we need a boost through food (which isn’t actually always the case)
Leading to a ‘perception’ that those cakes and biscuits left around will give you a higher reward that they actually do.
You only have to look at the link between insomnia and obesity to see this.
And on that note, here are 9 things you can do that might help your sleep:
1) Energy flows where your attention goes – If you are watching something that stimulates you / angers you / frustrates you before bed e.g. the news / politics ….your focus will be on that. And we all know, that an increased heart rate and stress is not great for sleep.
Even if it’s just for 1 minute. Try 4 breaths in and 6 breaths out. If you notice your mind wonder? don’t worry. Just come back in and focus on counting your breaths. Struggle with this? Try the app, Headspace, even for 3 minutes.
2) Drink a hot decaffeinated drink before bed – hot milk, camomile tea, peppermint tea. Cinnamon tea. This could even help with blood sugar level spikes in the night which could wake you up → perhaps it was due to comfort eating and drink in the evening
3) Don’t drink too much (wine included) before bed – Now, this might seem to contradict point 2, but if you find yourself up in the middle of the night at 323am needing a wee? This might help. Magnesium citrate MAY help with a weak bladder, too. (see your GP)
4) Eat CARBS with your evening meal – I know, I know. Completely against what you’ve heard in the past about it being stored as fat. But carbs may actually help you sleep (just remember that overall calories are king when it comes to weight loss…so perhaps save some carbs for later)
5) Avoid TV / phones / emails too close to bed – The blue light from screens can make your body think it’s day time and stop you producing the hormones that help wind you down for sleep and help you recover. EQUALLY, when you wake up get some sunlight ASAP, even if it is standing by the window with a glass of water and a coffee (don’t forget your dressing gown though, your neighbours will be in for a surprise otherwise)
6) Be Regular – go to bed and get up at the same time each day
7) Do some exercise – There’s no perfect time for it. Try getting some light in your day. A walk at lunch time. Park further away (in fact, daily movement that you do as part of your day is so underestimated in weight loss FULL STOP)
We know that sleep is so so important for recovery.
Exercise means your body needs to recover
So this can help with sleep.
8) Don’t binge before bed – I get that it’s hard. Could you do something that makes you feel good before bed? A bath? Read a book? A meditation?
9) Don’t check your phone when you wake up → this is probably the most simple yet effective tip to help your sleep if you struggle with waking up in the night. If you wake up in the night, DO NOT CHECK YOUR PHONE or the TIME. As what happens?
“Oh no, I need to sleep, I have to be up in an hour or I will be sooo tired. Go to sleep. Why can’t I sleep?”
And your heart rate shoots up
You are stressed
If you take anything from this
Take point 9)
Unfortunately, sleep is something that you just can’t get around.
I’m an early bird so unless I get to bed early, I will always be up early and be irritable later in the day as a result.
So I have to set some rules about logging off of emails / social media or I’ll find myself scrolling in bed, struggling to get to sleep as my brain goes in to overdrive about new ideas and things I can add in to our Fit For Life Programme
I just start making up loads of worries. That when I dig deeper, are totally made up by me and do not even exist.
After all, it is rarely ‘the thing’ that causes you to stress, but rather your thoughts about ‘the thing’ AKA you make it scarier than it actually is with your imaginative brain.