As we feel the time crunch of the busy, busy days of fall, it can seem harder and harder to stay motivated with our healthy lifestyle. However, as you’ve heard me say before, it is not just about eating right and exercising. Feeling in balance also involves a positive mindset, stress management and good sleeping habits, so maybe it's time to switch your focus for a bit.
I find that many people don’t take sleep habits as serious as they should though when it comes to goals like weight loss. But, if you are not getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night, you are most likely sleep-deprived. This is a problem because when you are sleep-deprived, it causes your stress hormone cortisol to increase. And, when your cortisol increases, your appetite increases, leading you on a downward spiral to not losing, but possibly gaining weight.
It seems like when it comes to sleep these days, people struggle with either having a hard time getting to bed early enough, having interrupted sleep throughout the night or having to literally drag themselves out of bed each morning. No matter which sleep camp you fall into, your precious beauty sleep is in need of a little face-lift.
I personally fall into the not getting to bed early enough camp, but I’ve been really trying to implement some things each night to combat my tardy bedtime. So, here are a few things I wanted to share that may help you take back some of your hard fought Z’s and keep the extra weight away.
10-3-2-1-0 Goodnight Formula
In Craig Ballantyne’s book, “The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life,” he shares a handy little formula that I’ve been using for the last month. He calls it the 10-3-2-1-0 Goodnight Formula. It is a formula designed to help you wake up well rested and get a productive day going right off the bat, and who doesn’t want that?? So here is the formula:
10 hours before bed – No more caffeine.
3 hours before bed – No more food or alcohol. I’ve taken this a step further to have 12-14 hours daily that I let my body rest, repair and rejuvenate without food or caloric beverages. For example eating only between 8am-8pm.
2 hours before bed – No more work.
1 hour before bed – No more screen time. This is one that I’m still trying to get my husband to work on with the TV in our room. But, this should include turning off all TVs, computers and flipping that phone over while it charges.
0 – The number of times you will hit the snooze button when you wake up.
Give Yourself A Bedtime
Who ever heard of setting an alarm FOR bed? Well I’m here to tell ya’ it’s a lifesaver. Setting an alarm on your phone to tell yourself it’s bedtime keeps you on a schedule both during the day and in the evening. This allots your desired amount of time for sleep - whether you choose to pass out right away or binge a little Netflix is your call – (Just remember to allow yourself that 1 hour before bed that the screen time goes away).
One of the best ways to reach maximum deep sleep is removing unneeded stimulation in your sleeping environment. That means beyond removing the flashing TV screen and phone light an hour before bed, you want to look around and see what other lights could be giving you unwanted stimulation and probably causing you to wake up in the middle of your slumber.
My alarm clock has a convenient display dimmer that I use on the lowest light setting, as well as making sure all my blinds are pulled tight. If needed you can add in some darkening window treatments.
If you don’t want to invest in window treatments, go for a comfy eye mask instead. As I keep losing the shutting off the TV early battle in my house, I’m starting to test this mask out (not an affiliate), so I’ll let you know what I think. Sometimes you have to take extra steps to get what you need. But, the bottom line with sleeping is the darker the room, the better you’ll sleep.
Let It Go, Let It Gooo
More than just a catchy Disney song, learning ways to clear your mind before your head hits the pillow will leave you ready to drift away. Try a nightly brain dump. If your head tends to be filled up with worries and thoughts of an overwhelming to-do list, let them go by jotting them down on a notepad or journal left on your nightstand.
You can take it a step further by listing out your top 3 priorities for the next day. I like to put mine on a post-it note and that is all I focus on for that next day. It reduces the overwhelm and actually increases my productivity. With a brain dump and a 3-item post-it, you’ll have worked through everything from the day and ready to be revisited in the morning!
“Laugh and the world laughs with you. Snore and you sleep alone.” - Anthony Burgess
It’s crazy to think that those precious 7-8 hours make such a difference in how we take on our busy days and stay healthy. But, if you can try these ideas, they may be just the trick you need to feel leaner, rested, and ready to take on anything.
Let’s get FIRED UPP!