With everything going on at the moment and a lot of us – understandably – having feelings of anxiousness…
There has been one positive that has come out of this…
That more people ‘seem’ to be taking more note of washing their hands and eating healthily.
At least, I have had a lot of Qs about this.
In fact, I was on BBC Radio Wiltshire here talking about boosting your immune system (obviously what I said was nothing to do with Coronavirus..but just general health):
You can listen in here: https://www.facebook.com/MattFruciNutrition/videos/254634885545684/
And it might have surprised some people..
Unlike a lot of people selling some magical herb, probiotic or 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, 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 it.
There is no one simple solution here.
I have two kids (3 and 1) and sometimes you literally just have to get on with life with little sleep.
But what I will say is that I will ALWAYS make time for a nap..
It’s hard sometimes..
I feel as if I have better things to do.
I sometimes feel guilty..
But guess what?
How I am to be around
My service to you
My motivation to exercise
And sometimes I don’t even sleep..
I just deep breath for 5 minutes…
Take some time out
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 7 things you can do that might help your sleep:
1) Focus on your breathing before bed – 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
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.
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)
8) Don’t binge before bed – this make you feel rubbish and actually impact sleep. I get that it’s hard. Could you do something that makes you feel good before bed? A bath? Read a book? A meditation?
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 Fit For Life Programme for the ladies
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.
Matt ‘sleeping beauty’ Fruci