How To Sleep Better And Maximise Your Fitness
Sleep is so important for your overall health — and it’s essential for muscle recovery after a hard workout!
Since becoming a mother, I’ve had to find new ways to make sure that I’m getting enough sleep each night to be at my best for Arna. Sometimes it can be challenging to get enough sleep with a baby, so I have had to create a new routine for my evenings to make sure that I’m still getting enough rest.
Getting enough sleep is critical for every aspect of your life, including making the most of your workouts!
The good news is that there are some actionable small changes that you can make to improve your overall health, including your sleep.
- How I get better sleep
- How exercise helps improve sleep
- Prepare ahead
- My stretch routine
- Why I love herbal tea
- Why getting an earlier night matters
- My evening skincare routine
- Magnesium-rich foods you can try
- What I do right before bed
Here are some of the things I do that may work for you too.
How I get better sleep
Getting better sleep helps you to perform at your best throughout the day, and can even help you to feel more motivated to workout.
Here are some of the ways that I’ve been able to get better sleep:
Studies have shown that exercising three to four times each week can improve your sleep more effectively than supplements.
It was also found that high-intensity workouts where you exert yourself more can make your sleep more efficient.
I like to schedule my workouts in advance, and I include both high-intensity workouts and low-intensity cardio throughout my week.
Now that I have Arna, I usually workout in the evening — this means that my evening routine is even more important to help me wind down to a relaxed, sleep state after a full-body at-home workout.
Prepare for the next day
I find that I sleep better when I know I’m ready for the next day. In the evening I take the time to look at my schedule for the next day and make sure I have everything I need.
If it’s a day when I have a workout planned, this means laying out my workout clothes so they're ready when I need them and making sure that I have plenty of healthy snacks ready to eat throughout the day.
As a mum, every day needs a little extra planning! I need to make sure that I'm exercising around Arna's meal and sleep schedule. Now that she is eating solids there’s even more to think about!
I prepare all of these things — gym clothes, snacks, water bottle — so I have everything ready to have a successful day too.
I also consider when the best times to eat will be around my workouts so I can make sure that I’ll have enough energy throughout the whole day!
Have an evening stretch routine
Whether you sit or stand all day, you can get tight muscles, aches and pains which can affect your sleep.
Before bed each evening, I like to take a few minutes to stretch to help to ease any tightness. I start with some dynamic stretches to get the blood moving through my body and then move into some static stretches to release muscle tension.
You can focus on your full body, upper body or lower body depending on where you feel you need to relax!
If you are following one of my programs in the SWEAT app, you could use one of your recovery sessions in the evening, or choose a short stretching session from the “Feeling Sore” section to release tight muscles and improve your range of motion.
Enjoy a herbal tea
Once I’ve completed my evening stretch, I like to enjoy herbal tea to relax. Chamomile tea is one of my favourites in the evening as it helps me to feel calm — the smell is really relaxing and it gets me into the mood for bed.
If you use your phone as your alarm, consider buying a separate alarm clock or at least ensuring that your phone is on “do not disturb” so that you won’t be disturbed by notifications and messages during the night.
I know that it can be hard, but you have to resist the urge to check your phone after you switch it off for the night! A good night’s sleep will be totally worth it, and you can respond to any messages in the morning with a fresh outlook.
Get an early night
It can be hard to get through the day when you haven’t slept well. Since having Arna, I have had to allow extra time for sleep, as we all know that nights with babies can be unpredictable!
Getting an early night is so important, so plan ahead and schedule your day to allow you to get into bed early enough to get the sleep you need.
Unwind with an evening skincare routine
Another way I relax in the evening is with my skincare routine. Taking the time to wash your face and apply moisturiser is something you can easily make part of your evening routine.
I also change my pillowcase every couple of nights to ensure that my skin stays fresh overnight.
Eat magnesium-rich foods
Magnesium is one of the essential minerals that isn’t produced in the body.
Magnesium is important when you exercise for maintaining optimal nerve and muscle function, regulating fluid balance, as well as managing stress responses within the body.
Most of the time, we get enough magnesium from green leafy vegetables, dairy, legumes and even dark chocolate — but if you are having trouble sleeping through the night, ask your doctor about whether a magnesium supplement might help.
Many women suffer from restless leg syndrome during pregnancy, and a magnesium supplement may help to reduce the symptoms.
Magnesium may also help if you have cramps during your period.
Listen to calming music
When you are working to break a bad habit of poor sleep, it can help to set up cues that make that habit easier!
One way you might start to change the habit of staying up late is to use sleep music to help relax you at the time that you want to go to bed.
I regularly use some calming music to help clear my mind before bed.
Try these tips for better sleep and get more out of your training
If you ever experience fatigue and find that it affects your energy levels throughout the day, getting better sleep might help.
While you can’t always control everything that affects your sleep, you can take some steps to ensure you get the best quality sleep each night.
These are just a few of the things that help me to get a good night’s sleep — try some of these ideas to see if they work for you!
Do you have a sleep tip that works for you? Share it in the comments below!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.