Tips for Catching More ZZZs

Sleep is Essential for Recovery

Tips for Catching More ZZZs - Sleep is Essential for Recovery
As we all know, sleep is essential. It is a time of recovery for our exhausted muscle and tired minds. And it can determine how our mood is the next day and how we function.

Some people function on six hours of sleep while others need nine. Some people like to nap throughout the day while others do not have the time to. We are all different and our needs vary. If you are having trouble catching those precious ZzZzZs, try following these steps:

• If you don’t fall asleep in 15 minutes, try to do something relaxing such as reading a book or listening to calm music. I like to read motivational fitness magazines before bed (such as FitnessRx for Women!).

• We are creatures of habit. Try following a sleep schedule and creating a bedtime ritual. Try winding down at the same time each night to ensure consistency. I like to organize what I need to take to the gym for the next morning. I also pick out the next day’s outfit. This is relaxing for me because I get to reflect on the day while planning my next one.

• Do not drink liquids before bed, especially caffeinated beverages. Drinking caffeinated beverages can take hours to wear off. I know a lot of people who like to drink tea before bedtime to calm them down. If this is something you like to do, you need to make sure this is a tea that does not contain caffeine. Most herbal teas are decaffeinated. Using the restroom one or more times a night can be a disruption to your sleep cycle.

• Get comfy! Having a comfortable bed and pillow can make all the difference. Make sure the room temperature is to your liking. Most people sleep better in a slightly cooler temperature. I myself have found that sleeping on satin sheets is the most comfortable. The satin sheets are also good for the skin and hair.

• Get your workout in! Even with a workout as short as 20 minutes, most people find it easier to sleep at night. Ideally, it would be best to avoid working out two hours before bed.

• Limit the cat naps. Taking naps throughout the day can disrupt your regular sleeping pattern. If you must take a nap, it would be preferable to naps in the late afternoon. Try to limit the nap to 30 minutes.

• Don’t just lie there. Figure out what’s really keeping you up! Are you comfortable? Are you stressed? Do you have too much energy that you need to burn off? Try an activity that relaxes you once again. You can consider taking a supplement that aids in sleep and relaxation, such a magnesium, ZMA or melatonin.

If you can’t figure out why it is difficult for you to fall asleep, seek help from a doctor who can!

Ashley Kaltwasser

Ashley Kaltwasser is the three-time Bikini Olympia Champion and two-time Bikini International Champion. She is a Team Gaspari, Better Bodies and MuscleEgg athlete, sponsored by Liquid Sun Rayz & a former collegiate track athlete. Ashley believes that serious fitness doesn’t have to be boring. In her “Keep it Fresh” column, she share ways to keep your training and nutrition fun and flavorful.

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