Most people know that eating healthfully and exercising are two of the first steps to a healthy lifestyle. Very few people realize that getting enough high-quality sleep is just as important. Are you guilty of nighttime neglect? I’m sure more than a few of you are raising your hand.
I always tell my clients that just as the body needs proper food and exercise, it also needs adequate time to rest and reboot. Consistent periods of rejuvenation help reduce long-term stress. When we’re not stressed, we don’t crave junk food, and are more likely to choose natural whole foods instead.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Treat your body right and you won’t have to battle cravings and an expanding waistline.
The good news is you don’t have to give up your evening activities to squeeze in a few extra hours of refreshing shut eye. Focus on quality, not quantity.
TRY THIS EXERCISE
Your sleep needs are as individual as your food requirements – depending on your daily schedule you may need more or less.
Whether you require six, seven, or eight hours of sleep, these tips will help you maximize that precious time:
- Watching TV and surfing the web right before bed will leave you overstimulated and restless – so turn off your electronics at least one hour before and listen to soft music or meditate instead. If you have kids, lay down a no TV before bed rule and watch their energy skyrocket.
- Turn the lights, noise, and heat down as you get ready to sleep. Light candles, turn off or mute noisy electronics, and try to keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature.
- Late-night snacking (especially on junk foods) and caffeine before bed will keep you counting sheep into the early hours, so plan your last meal in advance. However, don’t go to bed on an empty stomach either – balance is key.
Remember – sleep well to be well!