Sleep

Sleep.

People aren’t getting enough.

And that’s not an exaggeration. People are not sleeping nearly as long or as well as their bodies need. Our bodies NEED it to function, to recover, to fulfil our potential each day.

Now imagine you put your body through even *more* than just regular day to day activities.

Imagine you are working out, even just an hour a day.

Your body is going to need more, better quality sleep than you may be giving it.

I preach consistency.

If you are one of my clients reading this, you’ll roll your eyes a bit. But.. you are always consistency away from your goals. Whatever those goals are. Same speaks true to sleep.

Now, I get it. Sleep can be tough for a lot of people who work late or super early, workout late at night or at the crack of dawn. It can be hard for parents, shift workers, or just anyone who struggles with falling asleep.

Sleeping in can help if you’ve had a late night out, or are trying to catch up on your sleep debt, however it can mess up your biological clock (your circadium rhythm). If we are inconsistent with our sleep schedules, and we disrupt that circadian rhythm, our bodies won’t produce enough natural melatonin in the body. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for sleep quality. When we stop producing it naturally, we tend to supplement melatonin to “help sleep” - however, it is something we want to be able to produce naturally. “Sleep restriction is fine for a few days, but when it becomes a pattern, it becomes a problem.” (https://www.whoop.com/the-locker/michael-gervais-unlocking-human-potential-sleep/)

Some helpful tips that have aided *good sleepers* or, like myself, Self-Proclaimed Sleep snobs are to do the following:

  • Create a routine for each night that gets you ready to wind down and then fall asleep. Don’t try to rush to bed - easing into it helps your brain!!!!

  • DARKNESS! Blackout curtains are a huge help, but lately Ive found a sleep mask (like, $10 on Amazon) has really, really helped me fall asleep (in total darkness)

  • Make sure your room isn’t too hot (or too cold)!! Find that happy medium. Researchers suggest between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Clear your mind: maybe write in your journal before bed or meditate. I’ve found (and I think many of my clients can agree) that Headspace has been a really helpful app

  • BUT do NOT be on your phone in bed. Blue light is a big issue when it comes to awakeness versus restfullnes. Put the phone away. Turn the TV off. That Blue light delays the production of melatonin!! So.. turn your Headspace on and then ditch the phone for the rest of the night. Definitely no TV in bed!!

The more consistent sleep we can get - the better we will feel in the gym, the happier we will be going about our day, as well as increased energy levels. Fight for the routine, in your day, but also at night!!!

Author: Kelsey Kiel, Black Iron Nutrition Coach, @kelskiel