Have you ever laid in bed desperately trying to fall asleep for what seems like….forever, but can’t seem to shut your mind off? You stare at the clock, toss, turn, count sheep until you’re not even sure what number you’re at, but still can’t manage to get those precious Z’s. If this sounds like you (I see you raising your hand), you’re not alone.
Research shows that over 30% of the population suffers from insomnia and us gals are twice as likely to suffer from insomnia than our male counterparts.
As you can imagine this not only takes a toll on our beauty and bodies, but also our personality (insert grumpy emoji) and performance throughout the day. The great news is, there are simple changes we can make to start getting our beauty sleep, starting with what we do BEFORE we hit the sack.
Screen Time Curfew
Ok, sorry to break it to you, but curfew isn’t just for teenagers anymore. Increasing amount of studies have shown that using electronic devices such as smartphones, e-readers, computers and even TVs can impact your ability to sleep and stay asleep. The blue light that emits from the screen decreases our body’s ability to produce melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for making us sleepy. Experts in the field recommend shutting down all electronic devices at least 1-2 hours before bedtime… and don’t even think about responding to that text when you’re just about to doze off. Your sleep is more important.
If you’re anything like me, you need that cup of Joe in the morning to get you going, but caffeine consumption close to bed time can put a real damper on your dreams. In fact, caffeine can stay in your body for up to 12 hours so depending on the time of day you had your last cup, falling asleep may be challenging. Unfortunately this C word also sneaks itself into chocolate and teas so be mindful of how much you consume and watch your cut off time.
Drama Drama Drama! Keeping away from it in general is A+ for your overall health and mindset, but it is especially important to avoid conflict, fighting and any sort of stress inducing activity close to bedtime. Stress is a major cause of insomnia because it releases cortisol (appropriately coined the “stress hormone”) in our bodies. I guess grandma knew what she was talking about when she said never go to bed angry. Whatever you have to say, can wait till the morning.
Pumping Iron and intense cardio is no Bueno before bedtime. The increase in our heart rate makes it difficult to fall asleep and every #fitgirl knows how important sleep is to weight management. Instead, try to hit the gym at least 2-3 hours before bed and allow your body to wind down
Spicy or Fatty Foods
Avoid spicy and fatty foods like the plague if you’d actually like to wake up feeling and looking refreshed. The ingredients in these tempting treats can cause major acid reflux, which literally rears its ugly head when you lie down. Plus high levels of simple carbs (not the good kind) can cause bloating, discomfort and not to mention weight gain.
Bottom Line, if you want to avoid dark circles, lines, bitchiness, weight gain and just feeling crappy, get the much needed rest you deserve and make smarter lifestyle choices…your mind and body will thank you for it.