By Elliot Fisher MS, CSCS, PES, NSCA-CPT
Sleep is crucial for our health. It’s not uncommon for people to struggle getting quality sleep. In this blog we’ll take a look at tips to improve your sleep!
Sleep research suggests that creating a stable sleep schedule is the number one thing you can do to improve the quality of your sleep.(1) This means getting to bed at or around the same time every night and getting up around the same time each morning. This can be very difficult with shift schedules and social outings on the weekends. My suggestion is to set a time range if you cannot get to bed at the same time. For example, getting to bed between 9-11 (9 am on weekdays and 11 on weekends) and then wake time at 5-7.
Research on blue light suggests that looking at electronics that emit blue light such as our phones, computers, and tv trick our brain into thinking it’s still light out and this can skew our circadian rhythm. (2) You can purchase blue light blocking glasses to wear before you’re about to go to sleep, you can use an app to turn blue light off your phone, or you can start to turn off electronics close to bed. All are great options!
Lights from outside, such as lamps, signs, and the moon can all disrupt your sleep similarly.(2) Blackout blinds can be purchased and installed onto your windows to eliminate light shining through your windows at night.
Our diets can influence our sleep a lot. Things to note are going to bed either hungry or stuffed can impair sleep. Also, magnesium is an important mineral for sleep quality.(3) Finally, caffeine consumption impairs sleep quality, so limiting caffeine to before at least five hours before bed can help.
Walker, M. (2018). Why we sleep. Penguin Books.
Tähkämö L, Partonen T, Pesonen AK. Systematic review of light exposure impact on human circadian rhythm. Chronobiol Int. 2019 Feb;36(2):151-170. doi: 10.1080/07420528.2018.1527773. Epub 2018 Oct 12. PMID: 30311830.
Arab A, Rafie N, Amani R, Shirani F. The Role of Magnesium in Sleep Health: a Systematic Review of Available Literature. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2022 Feb 19. doi: 10.1007/s12011-022-03162-1. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35184264.