Sleep is an essential component of overall health and well-being. It is during sleep that our bodies repair and regenerate, and our brains consolidate memories & process information.
For many years, I struggled with sleep. It made my days challenging. I would wake up just dreading the day and wondering how I was going to get through. Mindset was ESSENTIAL. I had to really change my language up. When I stopped creating so much worry around it, I was able to focus on solutions. :)
Whether it's difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early, here are some tips to help you prioritize fitness and wellness when struggling with chronic sleep issues:
Establish a consistent sleep routine: Creating a consistent sleep routine can help regulate your body's internal clock and improve sleep quality. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This routine can help signal to your body that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
Prioritize sleep hygiene: Sleep hygiene refers to the practices and behaviors that can improve your sleep quality. This includes limiting screen time before bed, keeping your bedroom cool and dark, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, and establishing a relaxing bedtime routine. By prioritizing good sleep hygiene, you can set yourself up for a better night's sleep.
Adjust your workout schedule: Depending on your sleep patterns, you may need to adjust your workout schedule to accommodate your sleep needs. For example, if you struggle with insomnia, working out too close to bedtime may make it harder to fall asleep. Instead, try working out earlier in the day or in the morning. Experiment with different workout times to find what works best for you.
Adjust your workout intensity: High-intensity workouts can be energizing and stimulating, which may not be ideal for those with chronic sleep disturbances. When weight training, don't train to failure. Leave 3 reps "in the tank". Also, take longer rest periods in between sets. You CAN build and maintain strength but less is more. Additionally, incorporating low-impact workouts like yoga, walking, or swimming in your routine can be calming and relaxing, which may help promote better sleep.
Listen to your body: When dealing with chronic sleep issues, it's essential to listen to your body and prioritize rest when needed. If you're feeling exhausted or fatigued, it may be best to skip a workout or take a rest day. Pushing yourself too hard when your body is already under stress can lead to injury and burnout.
Seek medical advice: If you're struggling with chronic sleep disturbances, it's essential to seek medical advice. Your doctor can help identify underlying health conditions or medications that may be impacting your sleep. They may also recommend treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) or prescription sleep aids to help improve sleep quality.
A lot of this may not be new to you but you may have had a hard time implementing changes. I had to learn to be patient with myself. Keeping a sleep journal, writing out your language around it, but then turning it around in to how you are empowering yourself to improve will help you on the journey.
If you want help and support to get the right workouts for you with nutrition & lifestyle guidance, please don't hesitate to reach out!