Even though I am at a point on my own fitness journey where maintaining my weight and physique has become my normal I still have areas of my overall health and fitness that I am aiming to improve and even optimize.
Since last summer, prioritizing my SLEEP has been at the top of my list to improve and optimize. Sleep is one of the key foundations of great health and fitness and having good quality sleep was something that I lacked for years.
The responsibilities of motherhood (breastfeeding, teething, potty training) all made it difficult to sleep well most nights. Then, even after those things settled and my daughter got older, I found sleep was also made difficult as a result of the years I spent in a calorie deficit. There were many points along my journey that I would wake up hungry and unable to fall back to sleep without a small snack.
Last year, after a long and dedicated build phase, something shifted. I was well fed enough that I knew that even though I was waking up from hunger cues, it was not because I needed to eat. It was because somewhere along the line my circadian clock was misaligned regarding when it was cueing me to eat.
This discovery was a game changer. It only took a week or so of dedicated practice to reset my circadian rhythm around my new optimized meal times and with that my internal hunger cues regulated. Now, in a calorie deficit, at maintenance, or a small surplus I am able to sleep consistently well.
Meal timing was not the only thing I adjusted to improve my sleep. Every day is a new opportunity to optimize for a better nights sleep. It’s all included in my personal daily action steps for optimizing sleep.
This is by no means the only things that we can adjust to improve our sleep quality.
These are the 6 things I do day in and day out to help set myself up for success for a better nights sleep.
And it all starts right when I was up:
1. Regular wake up, get out of bed time. Even on weekends/vacations/ holidays.
2. No caffeine after 12pm.
3. Outdoor daylight 20 min a day minimum.
4. Hot shower before bed.
5. Dark, cool room. No screens. However, I do listen to movies, stand up comedy, or podcasts through headphones to get my mind on something happy and lighthearted and not on the events of the day, tomorrow’s to do list, or whatever other thoughts might try and creep in! Lol!
6. Try and tire the f*%! out of myself. Workouts, daily walks, etc…
The good news about all of this is to know that I still got amazing results even with less than ideal sleep. However, now that my sleep is consistently better I am loving the benefits. Increased daily energy, better strength and stamina in the gym, better mood and less anxiety, and improved hunger and satiety regulation.
If you have thought about having me as your coach to support you along your own fitness journey check out the Online Fitness Coaching page on my website for more info and how to inquire about my online fitness coaching service. Receive customized activity and nutrition plans, monthly virtual calls, and weekly email check in’s.
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