How to Develop a Healthy Sleep Routine

Is your quality of sleep lacking? Check out these tips to help you get some z’s.

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How a Tennis Ball Can Help You Sleep (2:01)

The What to Eat When plan is an eating plan that is based on your body's internal clock – a clock that can be positively influenced by healthy sleeping habits. Getting a good night’s sleep helps your body restore its energy for the next day. But lack of sleep can cause you to make poor eating choices and slow down your metabolism which can either cause weight gain or make it harder for you to be successful on this plan. Find out how to quiet your mind and body so you can get some quality rest to benefit your health and your diet. 

From This Episode:

What to Eat When

Wake Up and Meditate

One of the keys to falling and staying asleep is to make sure you are relaxed. That’s why it is important to work in activities throughout the day that will help you de-stress. If the easiest time for you to do this is in the morning, wake up and meditate for 10 minutes.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Healthy eating is a key component of a healthy life, but what you eat and when you eat could affect your sleep quality. Filling your diet with lots of fresh, natural foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will improve your health and your sleep overall. Additionally, when you eat is important. As the What to Eat When plan stresses, eating in sync with your circadian rhythm is essential for weight loss. This means that you should eat a hearty meal for breakfast once the sun is up and try to not eat dinner too late during the day.

Work Out on a Regular Basis

An active lifestyle that includes regular exercise can help you get some really good quality sleep. However, if you work out too close to bedtime, you can disrupt your body clock and make it hard to settle down and get some shut eye. Make sure you are exercising at least two to three times a week, but not too late at night.

Limit Caffeinated Beverages

Caffeine’s job is to increase your energy levels to help you get through the day. Therefore, it seems obvious that limiting your caffeine intake will allow you to appropriately wind down for the night. Stop drinking caffeinated beverages mid-way through the day for the best sleep results.

Keep Your Bed a Sleep-Only Zone

Beds should only be for sleeping activities. This means you should not use your bed as a couch or a place to eat. By keeping your bed strictly for sleep you are allowing your body to associate it with rest and therefore making it easier to have a restful sleep.

Create a Peaceful Bedroom

Bedrooms that are dark, cool, and quiet make the best environment for sleep. Light can overstimulate your brain and make it hard to fall asleep so it is best to keep your room dark. Your body temperature naturally decreases as it gets tired, so making your bedroom cool will help set you up for restful slumber. As far as optimal sleeping environments go, quiet takes the cake – it’s hard to fall asleep and stay asleep if you the room is noisy and distracting. If you need noise in order to help you sleep, consider a soothing white noise machine instead of the TV.

Watch Nighttime Eating

Eating too close to bedtime, especially if it’s a heavy meal, can make your food hard to digest and therefore impact your body’s ability to get restful sleep. Your metabolism also slows at night which means eating too much too late at night can also cause you to gain weight. The What to Eat When plan suggests eating your last meal of the day around 5 p.m.

Power Down Electronics

The blue light found in all of your electronics can impact your circadian rhythm and affect your sleep quality. Turn off all of your electronics – including but not limited to TVs, phones, and e-readers – two hours before bed.

Calm Down Before Bed

If you can’t meditate in the morning, do other relaxing activities to de-stress before bed. Try an activity you enjoy to unwind after a long day, like reading, playing a game, having a cup of tea, or talking on the phone. Keeping yourself stress-free will ensure you are less worried throughout the night and will help you sleep better.

Don’t Hit Snooze

You set an alarm at night to help you wake up in the morning, but snoozing will not help you sleep. Every time you hit the snooze button and fall back asleep you fall into a weird sleep pattern that will make you more tired than you were before. If you can’t avoid the temptation, put your alarm on the other side of the room so you have to wake up and walk to turn it off.

Related: 

Get Started on the What to Eat When Plan

FAQ: What to Eat When Plan

5 Easy Steps to a Better Night’s Sleep