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Habits to improve sleep

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We´ve talked on other posts about the importance of getting enough high quality sleep every night and the way to make sure we can achieve that is by developing certain habits.

We know that melatonin is a hormone that is released by the pineal gland and it helps us fall asleep, but for this to happen we need to send the right message to our brain and this is done with light, in order for the pineal gland to release melatonin it needs to be dark and most of us expose ourselves to unnatural light from electronic devices and this sends the wrong signal to our brain so when we go to bed and we want to fall asleep it takes a lot more time for the pineal gland to release melatonin and it may only release a small percentage. If you are able to fall asleep fast maybe because you´re tired the quality of sleep won´t be good enough.

There are some habits you need to develop that will make it easier for you to fall asleep and improve the quality and quantity of sleep:

1.- Wake up at the same time every day, also on weekends.

2.- Get direct sunlight during the day, especially in the morning.

3.- Do physical activity, especially in the morning. If you can´t schedule your exercise routine in the morning a short walk will work fine. Have you spend a long day outside doing any physical activity? Probably you enjoyed that day and you fall asleep really fast. I´m not saying to stay really active all day just to do some resistance exercise and a couple of short walks will work fine.

4.- Be aware of what you eat. This includes all your meals but especially your last meal try eating 3 hours before going to bed and make sure that what you eat don´t cause digestive issues. Focus on eating foods and meals that make you feel good and avoid unhealthy foods like sugar, refined flours (except nut flours) and seed oils, this lowers stress on your body and leads to better quality of sleep.

5.- Turn off electric devices and all blue light exposure at least 60 minutes before going to bed. Use amber glasses if possible.

This steps play a huge role on your circadian rhythm, our body works in cycles just as nature does and when everything is working in harmony that´s when we can expect the best results in overall health and also how we look and feel. Sometimes when we´re on a bad mood or we feel tired or unmotivated is because something is working out of sync, if we are aware of this then we can make better choice to improve it.

We´ve talked about this in other posts and there´s a reason why, sleep is important and this 5 steps or habits make a huge difference on the quality and quantity of sleep. Sleep is really important for optimal health so if you really prioritize your health then you´ll need everything you need to improve it.

Developing good habits for the 4 principles of fitness is what leads to success and makes your life a lot more easier. You don´t need to develop all habits at the same time, and actually if you try to do this you will fail, take one habit you want to develop and work on it for the first days and weeks you need to do it consciously, once you feel comfortable with it and you don´t need to think about it take another one. Getting direct sunlight first thing in the morning and avoid blue light exposure as the sun comes down and exercising are the 3 most effective habits that will give you the biggest results. When you wake up and as soon as there´s sunlight expose yourself to sunlight, something as simple as opening the courtines will work, as we mentioned before turn off electric devices and blue light exposure 60 minutes before going to bed and exercise. Do this for a couple of weeks and let us know what changes you noticed.

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Pam