Sleep, or a lack thereof, can be a polarizing topic. Whether you’re at the lunch table or out to brunch you probably just heard someone mumble “I’m tired.” And TBH maybe that person was maybeee you.
But how many of us are actually getting the requisite 7-9 hours a night? Not many. The good news is that we live in a time where we know more about our health than we ever have before. Science has proven out how much sleep we need and its benefits (a healthy weight and improved executive function, just to name a few).
And as if feeling well-rested wasn’t enough motivation, studies suggest that weight loss improves sleep and that improved sleep, in turn, promotes more weight loss.
This means that when it comes to hitting the hay, you really can’t go wrong. Here are the four science-backed ways to get better sleep:
1. Limit Your Sugar Intake
That sugar high your mom warned you about is no joke! Consuming too much sugar can severely impact your ability to get a good night’s sleep. One 2016 study found that people with high-sugar diets slept less deeply and awoke more easily.
But it’s not just a matter of our general sleep. Sleep disorders like insomnia have also been linked with sugar consumption. One Columbia University study found that increased carbohydrate consumption was linked to an increased risk of insomnia. One more reason to try cutting sugar with the Sweetkick 14 Day Sugar Reset (shameless plug)!
2. Cut Back On Tech
“Screen Time” shouldn’t just be for your sister’s kids. We all could benefit from spending less time on our screens (emotionally AND physically). The blue light emitted from our tech can be especially detrimental to our body’s ability to fall asleep. Studies show that blue light negatively impacts our levels of melatonin, a hormone that impacts our daily sleep cycles.
While some people take melatonin supplements, you can also increase your levels by putting down your tech two hours before bed. Opt for a relaxing activity like journaling or reading instead! You might just find that spending time alone with yourself is a lot more fulfilling than filling your Amazon cart.
3. Limit Your Liquids
Sleep deprivation and caffeine can be a vicious cycle, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Research suggests you can have your coffee and drink it, too (so long as you do it six hours before bedtime). While the transition may suck at first your body will adjust and thank you later!
Another thing to skimp on at night is alcohol. While a glass of wine may help you fall asleep, studies indicate that alcohol negatively impacts your ability to stay asleep. That’s a trade-off we’re just not willing to make!
Another common culprit? Drinking too much water before bed. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing!
If you find yourself running to the bathroom in your slippers then it’s time to cut back on your nightly liquid intake! You can make up for it by drinking more water earlier in the day to start improving sleep.
No matter your goals, sleep plays a critical role in maintaining your body’s natural processes. From better decision making (aka reaching for an apple instead of a chocolate bar) to better skin (hello, beauty sleep), we do it for a reason.
Find your reason and make the lifestyle swaps that make sense for you!
4. Get In The Mood
Relaxation techniques like meditation and journaling are both proven to help you fall asleep quickly. If you’re not the kind of person to create your own mantra or associate meditation with sitting cross legged then it’s time you entered the 21st century!
Meditation and dating apps abound! Try a nightly guided meditation for a week straight and see how you feel!
Another tried and true method? Science actually backs that nightly bubble bath routine you had as a kid. Put on your favorite tunes, grab a bath bomb, and you’re in business!