SLEEP: PART 2
Stand outside every morning
Research (1) shows that morning sunlight is very important to get your bodily rhythms moving, and it actually has a big influence on how well you sleep at night! A short dose of outdoors light as soon as possible in the morning helps kick start your energy and will also help you sleep better at night, believe it or not.
No caffeine after 3 p.m.
Wait, let me explain! Coffee even at 3 p.m. negatively effects your sleep quality (2)- even if you don't feel like it does. It's a great idea to quit the caffeine after lunch, this includes tea, coffee, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate.
Watch the sunset for 10 mins.
Building on the first point, there is a lot of research that shows that 'the wavelengths at sunrise and sunset have the biggest impact to brain centers that regulate our circadian clock and our mood and alertness.'. In essence, being outside for just 5 minutes at sunset.
Dim the lights.
This is seemingly simple, but light at night is a powerful signal for the body - be it positive or negative. Artificial light at night sends the wrong signal to the body and causes metabolic problems, but obviously we can't exist in darkness. Just do your best to dim the lights wherever possible, and you'll notice a more relaxed atmosphere! (4)
Finish your last meal by 6 p.m.
Eating before sunset is an underrated but effective way to not only improve weight but improve sleep quality as well. Finishing a small and early dinner aids sleep quality tremendously (5). Give it a shot! If you eat late, even a little shift goes a long way. For example, at our home dinner is at 5:30 p.m.
Take a cold shower in the evening.
Temperature is an important stimulus for sleep, as anyone who has tried to sleep in a hot room would know (6). Going to bed cool helps deepen sleep greatly. Attempt to take a lukewarm or cool shower around 30 minutes before you plan to sleep, and see how it does wonders!
No screens 30 minutes before bed.
Everyone knows that screens before bed are a bad idea! They mess with the timing system of the body and really do mess people up. Establishing a habit of turning screens off 30 minutes before you sleep is great. Instead, try listening to a podcast or some relaxing music to wind down.
These are a few habits that I practice and I recommend you do too. The effects are noticeably immediately, however it is best to stick with them consistently for maximum effectiveness - as with any habit.
Want to learn more?