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The Fitness Zone

Ten Ways to Improve Your Sleep for Optimum Health
July 25, 2020 | by Molly Fabri

We all know what not getting enough sleep feels like… you have little energy the following day, your brain is foggy, you feel irritable and tired, and can’t concentrate or perform to your usual standards… we’ve all been there and frankly, it sucks.

As a personal trainer, you need to be ensuring you are getting enough sleep each night in order to be your best possible self for the clients who are seeing you the next day. If you’re currently studying, adequate sleep is a MUST  in order to excel in your assessments whilst looking after your physical and mental health at the same time. 

Studies have shown that sleep helps to reduce stress, improve cardiovascular health, enhance your memory and reduce the incidence of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

So,  how many hours do we need to reap these health benefits? The answer to this question differs for everyone. The magic number suggested by health professionals for adults is 8 hours of sleep per night, however, some people actually perform best on 6-7 hours, so trial and error is the way to go!

If you want to improve your sleep for optimum health and performance, check out these 10 tips that have helped us get those extra hours without needing to count sheep. 

1. Regular exercise

Physical activity during the day will help you to expend excess energy so you won't be feeling restless in bed at night.

2. Limit the consumption of caffeine and alcohol prior to bed

If you're having a coffee or wine at night and wondering why you're experiencing sleep disturbances, then try only drinking coffee early in the day and limit the alcohol to a single after-work drink rather than pre-bed beverage. 

3. Try not to watch TV in your bedroom or do work too late at night

The extra stimulus of images on the TV can affect your ability to relax and fall asleep and If you’re doing work right before bed, you’re not giving yourself enough time to switch off from the workday stresses, bringing them right into bed with you. 

4. Have a bedtime routine

Get your body and mind into the habit of knowing when it's sleep time. Do some reading (nothing too heavy or challenging), take a bath, drink a green tea or listen to some quiet music to relax before sleep each night and you’ll notice the difference as your body adjusts to the newly formed routine.

5. Avoid naps during the day

If you're napping throughout the day, then chances are you'll not feel as tired or need as much during the night, resulting in tiredness the next day - if you’re struggling with your sleep at night, avoid naps at all costs. 

6. Don't take your worries to bed

If you've got things on your mind, try to talk them over with someone during the day, call a friend in the evening to debrief, try journaling or meditate, to avoid stewing on your concerns or worries in bed. 

7. Ensure you have a healthy diet

A healthy diet will help with your digestion so you'll have a better night's sleep and avoid restlessness due to gut disturbances. 

8. Create a relaxing sleep environment

Have lamps on in the room, lovely cushions and a nicely made bed to hop into. Make the room a tidy, stylish oasis away from the rest of the house where you can relax and drift into a deep, replenishing sleep.

9. Use lighting to help manage your circadian rhythm

Open up your blinds to let the light in when you first wake up, spend some time outdoors during the day and limit the use of bright lighting (including from your phone!) in the evening. 

10. Get up earlier

Getting up earlier in the morning helps to use your energy up earlier, so you'll naturally want to go to sleep earlier at night.


Set yourself the goal of going one whole week doing all ten tips! You will be surprised at how well you’ll sleep and how much better you’ll feel as a result. 

Our Master Trainer Program™  covers all the practical elements of a fitness education program as well as covering other important topics such as the health benefits of getting enough good quality sleep at night too. If fitness and health is your passion, why not make it a career? Enquire with our team today. 

About

Molly Fabri is the Communications and Partnerships Coordinator at the Australian Institute of Fitness.

This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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