4 Ways To Get The Sleep You Need To Stay Fit
Are you getting enough sleep? Did you know that not getting enough sleep may be preventing you from achieving your fitness goals? Like exercise and a healthy diet, getting enough sleep is an important part of taking good care of ourselves, spiritually and physically. Here are 4 ways to make sure you’re getting the best possible sleep.
1. Turn screens off before bed.
Televisions, tablets, phones. Turn them off and put them away. TV shows that are engaging are going to excite your senses and keep you awake. Scrolling through your phone is a stimulating activity. We all know too well that a scroll through our favorite websites and apps can turn into time-sucking rabbit holes. Worse than just wasting time, the television light exposure and blue light exposure from phone and tablet screens can affect circadian rhythms, making the quality of your sleep sub-par. Use your DVR to record those compelling late night dramas and get in the habit of keeping your phone out of reach when you are in bed. Bonus: if you rely on your phone as an alarm clock, you will have to get out of bed to turn it off. No more snooze buttoning the morning away.
2. Routine Bedtimes.
Try to go to bed at the same time every night, and avoid sleeping in. Life happens and sometimes we are required to step outside of our self-imposed boundaries, but try to be consistent about bedtimes whenever possible. Your body will adjust and learn cues about when it is time to relax and settle in for the night.
It’s possible that none of us are sleeping as we should be. In an episode of the podcast Note to Self,historian Roger Ekirch and psychiatrist Thomas Wehr discuss how people slept before electricity changed our habits. Without electricity, bodies started to naturally settle down as the sun set and the day came to an end. People would sleep for a few hours, wake up for quiet, creative, productive pursuits for a couple of hours, and then sleep for a couple hours more. Modern technology and demands do not allow this type of schedule for most people, but it’s interesting to consider how rested we are when Wehre says, “People would sometimes say they felt a kind of crystal clear consciousness when they were awake that was not familiar to them. And it made me wonder if any of us knows what it’s really like to be awake — fully awake.” (WNYC)
Since we do not live in Victorian times, we need to do the best with the schedules that we have. Make a bedtime and stick to it.
3. Keep naps short and sweet.
Have you ever woken up from a nap to discover that a few hours have slipped away? Set a timer for your naps so that you do not sleep for more than 15-20 minutes. This is usually enough to give you a second wind for the rest of your day and a longer nap has the potential to disrupt night sleep. If I really need a boost, I believe in the power of a caffeine nap: you drink a cup of coffee (small, unsweetened for me,) set a timer for a 20 minute snooze, and then feel completely amazing when the caffeine kicks in just as I wake up from charging my batteries with sleep. Of course, keep caffeine to a minimum most days, particularly after 2PM.
4. Make an appointment with Louben.
The best tip for staying fit with sleep is to make an appointment with your personal trainer, Louben Repke. Studies show that those who exercise regularly are likely to sleep better and longer. If you know that you have an early morning appointment at Repke Fitness, you will be more likely to get yourself to sleep so that you are rested and ready for Louben’s fitness challenges.
Repke Fitness, located in Millersville (21108), minutes away from Severna Park (21146), starts training clients as early as 6am. We’re also a perfect location for clients looking for personal training in Gambrills. So if you need a great reason to get out of bed – you can’t do better than meeting with your favorite Repke Fitness personal trainers. Give them a call today, to schedule your FREE initial personal training session 410-656-2121.
Below are some links to the Podcast and the article mentioned above.
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