When designing an overall fitness program, most people focus mostly on two components: nutrition and exercise.
While there is no denying that these factors will probably affect your shape more than any other, you should spend some time thinking about how you sleep. Getting a good night's rest will help you recover from exercise faster, give you more energy for exercise during the day, and help you establish a hormone balance that helps you process food better. While for most of us, there is nothing that we can do to actually increase the number of hours we sleep, there are a few steps that you can take to enhance the quality of your sleep every night.
Get on a Sleep Routine - Ideally, you should wake up at the same time and go to bed at the same time every night. This will help your body get accustomed to a routine, which can make your sleep at night a bit deeper. Now, this might mean that you have to forgo sleeping in long hours on those lazy Saturday mornings. But if you stick to a good schedule over time, you will probably discover that you have more energy and have an easier time falling asleep at night.
Turn off the TV - Try to avoid watching television for about half an hour before you decide to hit the hay. Studies show that this extra stimulation can actually decrease your quality of sleep. When you stare directly at any bright light, like a television screen, it tells your brain that it is still light out. When you do something a bit more calming before you go to bed, like read a book or listen to music, it can prepare your body for sleeping, just like warming up can prepare your body for exercise.
Spend Time Making Your Bedroom Sleep Friendly - If you have to contend with a bright street light coming in through your bedroom window, there just is not any way that you are going to sleep well. Make sure that your blinds can block out any light that might come in, and that your room stays at a comfortable temperature. The next time you want to do a redesign of your bedroom and want to make it more sleep friendly, try choosing darker and earthy colors rather than bright primary colors.
Don't Schedule Your Exercise Right Before Sleep - Generally speaking, exercise improves the quality of your sleep. It physically exhausts your body so that your sleep in deeper and most restful. But if you do that exercise right before you go to bed, you stimulate your body to a degree that makes it difficult to go right to sleep. If night time is the only time you can exercise then you should of course do it anyways. But if you have an option, it's better to get your workouts done in the morning.
Personal trainer Christopher William McCombs runs Fitness Boot Camp in Orange County California. He is radically different in his approach to losing fat. Chris is also a Fitness Training Marketingexpert and helps fitness trainers all over the globe to triple their income while cutting their work hours in half.
Thanks for all the great tips. I honestly feel that one of the most important factors in making sure that you get a good night's sleep is ensuring that you have heavy drapes that cut out extraneous city light. I've really noticed the difference between how I sleep in my city apartment and how I sleep when I'm way out in the boonies, and it's pretty significant.