As you probably already know, sleep plays a vital role in our well-being and physical performance. So, how can we sleep better? Our experts share their tips on how to avoid sleep disorders.
Avoid taking a hot bath before bed! You thought it was an easy way to relax (this is what people told you, right?), but it isn’t. In fact, the heat causes our blood vessels to expand, which increases oxygen circulation. To put it simply, the heat increases your energy, so this is something you would be better doing in the mornings. For you to fall asleep with ease, you have to lower your body temperature. Favour fresh water to wash yourself in the evening, and don’t forget to air your bedroom.
Avoid artificial lighting for at least 1h before bed. Right, this could be complicated now we are living in an overconnected world. Complicated, but not impossible. It is a matter of choice. Shutting down your PC, tablet, smartphone, and reducing the intensity of light in the room will help you fall asleep. In fact, sleep usually comes with darkness: when it doesn’t detect any more light entering your eyes, your brain produces melatonin, which is a sleep hormone.
Try not to run after 7 pm. The best time of day to exercise is between 5 and 7 pm, when our hormone release is at its highest, which means you are full of energy and able to reach your maximum potential. If you workout after 7 pm, you may start suffering from sleep disorders, because exercise increases body temperature. If it is not possible for you to train before 7 pm, we recommend you to take a cool/cold shower before bed!
Go for light portions at dinner. Eating too much at night will make your stomach work very hard to digest all that food. And, obviously, this will lead to sleep disorders. Avoid fatty, high sugar and high-carb foods. Try to favour vegetables.
During the day, you can have one or two healthy snacks to combat fatigue and get your energy back. Favour oleaginous fruits, seasonal fruits (dry or fresh) and vegetable protein sources to boost magnesium, fiber and iron. These healthy snacks are a lot better for you than coffee or any kind of energy drink. Drink green tea too! And, of course, keep in mind that alcohol disrupts athletic performance AND leads to sleep disorders.