No matter what your health or performance goals are, getting enough sleep is a massive priority. It’s important in fat loss, exercise recovery and injury prevention, immune function, muscle mass and to be honest most things in life!

Most adults should be aiming for around 7-8 hours a night but as we try and fill our days with as much as possible, sleep takes the brunt of it. Life comes up with some unavoidable situations so a full 7-8 hours is sometimes unrealistic but if we can start getting an extra 15-30 minutes each week, you’ll start to see the benefits in your training and weight loss in no time.

One of the major reasons you’ll see a benefit is that you will feel a lot hungrier when you are tired. You might find that your usual breakfast doesn’t quite hit the spot. All snacks start to look a lot more tempting than usual! As a result, we start to eat bigger portions, snack more often and rely on a strong coffee to keep our eyes open. Your mind is tired; your body is tired. It’s time for a good night’s sleep!

Here are 5 tips that you can try out:

  • Change your routine – Some things are unavoidable and that means sleep is a bit hit or miss. However, there are some things you can control. Give yourself a bed time and stick to it!
  • Winding down – Have 30 minutes or so before you go to bed to totally wind down. Put down the phone, turn of the TV and spend the last bit of your day relaxing.
  • Be Cool as a cucumber – Everyone is different but we can all agree that no one sleep well in 50 degrees. Studies have shown that the optimum sleeping temperature is between 15-19 degrees. Keeping a cooler room will probably help you get the rest you need.
  • Avoid Caffeine – Caffeine is a stimulant that our bodies are not great at metabolising. This means that the effects of a coffee or energy drinks around 4-6 hours. Let’s not go cold turkey but try cutting back gradually on caffeinated drinks after 3 o’clock.
  • Lay off the booze – I’m sure you’re the same as me and feel sleepy after on glass of wine or a bottle of beer in the evening. Despite being able to fall asleep quicker after a glass or two, your sleep quality is not going to match an alcohol-free evening. Rather than going for that glass of vino, go for a decaffeinated drink or a small glass of water.

Sleep more, get better results!

Alice Davidson-Richards