It’s time to catch some ZzZzZzZz’s

We all know how important sleep is for us - not only for our weight loss goals, but for our overall health and wellbeing. Sleep, like a healthy diet, is fuel for our body - it is what keeps us going physically, mentally and emotionally. And yet, establishing a healthy, regular sleep routine is something that many of us struggle to achieve.

That’s why February’s challenge is all about creating a Healthy Nighttime Ritual. First, we are going to take a look at our Nighttime Rituals to see if we are unintentionally sabotaging our sleep - are you eating late at night? Keeping the TV in your bedroom on all night? Drinking caffeine too late in the day?  Next, we will try to replace some of those bad habits with healthier options.

Remember, I am here to help! All month I will be sharing tips and tricks to easily integrate into your Nighttime Ritual to help promote a healthier and deeper sleep. 2016 is the year that we take control of our sleep and realize how regular sleep can transform our health!

The Challenge - Building a Healthy Nighttime Ritual

There are TWO ways to earn points this month towards our incredible Monthly Prize (check it out below!).

1) NO SCREENS IN BED! I know, this one sounds tricky - I am so guilty of this myself! But the research tells us that it is crucial to stop looking at screens at least 30 minutes before hitting the hay. This gives our brain time to turn off and wind down properly. So as of February 1st, that is your challenge - no phones, no TV, no iPads, no screens at all once you slip under the covers (e-readers like a Kindle or Kobo are okay as they use a special kind of backlighting - the Kindle app on your iPad doesn’t count!)

2) SEVEN HOURS OF SLEEP A NIGHT (minimum!) Now I am not going to track everyone’s FitBit sleep patterns, but seven hours a night means seven hours in bed, lights off, no distractions. So if you have to be up by 6:30am for your morning workout, that means lights off at 1130. It is even more beneficial for you if you are able to make these seven hours the same seven hours every night, but let’s start with small steps!

And that’s it! All you have to do is get into your bed and turn off your screens and I promise you will feel better by the end of the month!

Tips and Tricks for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Make your bedroom a relaxing and calming place by turning it into a sleep retreat with:

Lavender room spray

Blackout blinds

A good mattress and bedding - you spend half your day in it might as well make it comfortable

Consider buying an alarm clock, so you aren’t relying on your phone

Earplugs - especially if you share your bed with a noisy sleeper!

White noise machine or fan to tune out any traffic or outdoor nosie

Good quality eyemask.

Try adding an element of relaxation to your Nighttime Ritual, like:

Calming or bedtime tea (no more than 1 cup - we don’t want too much liquid before bed!)

Take a bath with soothing bath salts and scented candles

Replace that screen with a book!

Try some deep breathing exercises or gentle yoga to focus your breath and start to unwind

Good sleep starts well before we getting under the cover. Try these daytime tricks to set yourself up for success:

Increase your dietary fiber

Limit your sugar and saturated fats intake

Limit caffeine, particularly in the afternoon - caffeine has a halflife of 6 hours, so almost half of that cup of coffee you had a 3:30 is still in your system if you’re heading to bed for 10:00

Avoid strenuous exercise 2-3 hours before bedtime

Avoid healthy carbs and snacking near bedtime.

I love this topic, so I am full of helpful tools and resources to help you out! Check out below for some more tips, some great tea ideas and other useful information to help you get the most out of your Nighttime Ritual.

Good night everyone, and SLEEP WELL!

The ultimate sleep kit!

Great tea Ideas:

Sleep articles:

Bed that tells you how you’re sleeping-

Breathing Technique video-

Sleep pressure point video-

Nightwave sleep assistant- ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0036FJ7AU&linkCode=as2&tag=lifbydai-20&linkId=BXQUXAARVKWALHZR