15 Simple Strategies for a Good Night's Sleep [March WAG Goal]
Dialing in your sleep is a major proponent for busting through plateaus, which is why we refer members to this article often. So much so that we’ve added more tips and practical devices for improving sleep to the list!
Your goals don’t just have to be body composition or athletic-based to see the direct correlation between sleep and performance. Want a job promotion? Need to work on your relationship? Find yourself feeling “down” or lacking motivation in general? Sleep improves your attention to detail, quality of work, mood, patience and your entire outlook on just about everything.
Below are 15 simple tactics you can use to help you get the sleep you need to be your best self and reach your ultimate goals.
- Banish the blue light.
TV, computer and phone screens emit a blue light, which directly inhibits melatonin production. It’s the same kind of light that comes from the sun. This means your body doesn’t actually know that it’s time to go to sleep!
- Update your mattress. Sometimes we get so used to our mattress that we don’t even realize it’s the source of our discomfort. Assess your mattress and see if it’s time for an upgrade.
- Eat carbs at night.
Have you ever eaten a big plate of carbs and felt sleepy afterward? Eating some carbs before bedtime can help you sleep.
- Don’t do drugs.
Caffeine, cigarettes and sugar do the opposite of helping you wind down for a solid night’s sleep. Have your last cup of coffee as far away from your bedtime as possible.
- Have a bedtime routine.
Creating a ritual before you go to bed works wonders and tells your body it’s time to sleep. This can include taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, drinking tea, listening to soothing music or even just dimming the lights to start signaling that it’s bedtime. Read more on creating a bedtime routine in this article.
- Stretch and roll.
Aches, pains and stiffness can make sleep uncomfortable and cause irritability. Stretching and rolling helps to reduce these aches and pains and will improve both your athletic and sleep performance.
- Keep your bedroom cool.
Your body likes to bring its core temperature down during sleep. If the room is too hot, sleep can be difficult. Turn on a fan or set your air conditioner to a cooler temperature just before bedtime. You can get a ChiliPad, which is designed to regulate the temperature of your mattress so you stay cool inside of the bed! Great for those who share beds with others or get overheated at night.
- Keep a notepad next to your bed.
If you struggle to fall asleep because you’re already thinking about tomorrow and all the things you need to get done, write it down. Keep a notepad handy so that you can quickly turn on the lamp, write it down and feel assured that you won’t forget because now it’s written down!
- Exercise often.
Exercise releases endorphins which help you relax, and it tires you out — what’s not to love? Just going for a walk can improve your likeliness to fall asleep quickly.
- Don’t force it.
If you’re tossing and turning and sleep just isn’t happening, get up. Sit in a chair, read a book or relax elsewhere. It can help your mind settle sooner and get you back in bed and ready for sleep.
- Use light therapy. The Sunrise Alarm Clock by LAPUTA wakes you up with soft sounds and natural light. It’s an amazing way to start the day while allowing you to keep your phone outside of your bedroom! There are also some great phone apps out there with similar features if you’d rather not add something to your side table - just make sure you set your phone to Do Not Disturb.
- Make your room DARK. If you can cover the windows or make it so that light cannot come in and easily disturb you, this will be optimal.
- Play relaxing sounds! Switch on the fan, open the window a little or download a nature sounds app or playlist from Spotify or Pandora that plays natural sounds. We love the Rain Rain Sleep Sounds app.
- Get comfortable. It seems obvious but it goes without saying that comfy pajamas, a soft comforter, pillow and mattress are going to help you sleep well!
- Don’t over or under hydrate. Too much or too little water and food before bed can disrupt your sleep. You’ll either need to get up to use the bathroom or wake up thirsty or hungry. Work to get the balance just right.
WAG Challenge for March
Sleep plays a huge role in reaching your goals, whether they’re performance, body composition or health — so this month's challenge is to get more sleep and monitor it (and, if you’re a WAG member, share your findings with your coach).
This challenge will help you gauge the impact your quality of sleep is having on you.
- Print the Sleep Tracking Sheet at the bottom of this page and keep it by your bed.
- Try the above strategies to help you sleep longer and better.
- Take 30 seconds each day to fill out the Sleep Tracking Sheet.
- If you’re on the WAG program, update your coach during your weekly check-in with what you’ve noticed about your sleep.
- Stay accountable and encourage others by sharing your successes using the hashtag #WAGGoals — how did a good night's sleep benefit you today?
Then, watch your new-found knowledge of your sleep quality drive your progress forward!
Join Team WAG
Love what you learned but still want more guidance and support? Hire a 1:1 coach who will get to know you, your lifestyle and your unique needs and create results that you can sustain long-term. If you're not quite ready to go all-in on hiring a coach, check out our Macro Calculation Cheat Sheet & 18 Tracking Tips and Tricks for macro counting!