Improving Your Quality of Sleep With Small Habit Changes

April 18, 2023

True or false, the quality of sleep you get affects the quality of food on your plate.

Listen to this week’s podcast for a full answer to that question, I don’t think you’ll be too surprised.

Six hours of QUALITY sleep is the minimum you should be getting, however, every person is different when it comes to the amount of sleep they need. The amount of sleep you need is determined by the amount of time your body needs to recover.

Think about it, if you’re sick, you sleep off the sickness. If you have a long day, you sleep off the day.

Sleep is so important as it helps your body rest, rebuild and regenerate (those muscles), reduce inflammation (hello gut health) and fight off viruses (hello life)

If you aren’t getting that sleep, your body won’t be functioning at its highest and if your body isn’t functioning at its highest, you won’t be able to make proper decisions about the food on your plate, recover from a workout, think straight at work or overall be the healthiest version of you.

The pandemic taught us that it’s not about the grind anymore, but as we enter the 3-year mark… the mentality of the grind is coming back… and so are late nights, lack of sleep, and poor habits.

Let’s flip that script and start working on our sleep some more.

Poor Sleep Leads To Poor Food Choices

Back to the question I asked at the top of the podcast. True or false, the quality of sleep you get affects the quality of the food on your plate.

The answer here is true.

You can meal prep everything and have the perfect week lined up but if your sleep is off… that isn’t going to matter as much as you think it is. Your body is going to be telling you something is off and that something is the lack of sleep and recovery… but it might come across as craving something else instead or just not having a desire for the food you prepped in general.

There are other aspects of poor sleep that can lead to poor food choices.

It can be a matter of time in the morning. A rough night’s sleep could lead to running late in the morning and not having time to make a solid breakfast or lunch.

It can also shift to you becoming reliant on coffee or energy drinks to get through the day… which can result in you having a problem falling asleep at night… which starts the cycle all over again.

Lack of sleep and having a body that isn’t fully recovered can also lead to a lack of desire to work out.

When you aren’t moving your body, you’re more likely to make poor food choices.

How To Get Good Quality Sleep?

You get the point, we need to get good quality sleep in order to build upon our healthy habits. How do you do this?  As always, there are going to be exceptions to the rule but for the average person, let’s talk about the quality of sleep.

The biggest piece is going to be your bedtime routine.

Our bodies are on a clock, whether we realize it or not, but there are factors around us that can throw off that clock. Things such as the food we eat, the alcohol we drink, blue light, loud noises, stress, lack of routine, and the list go on.

Here we are in a day where all of those are constant in our lives and we wonder why our sleep quality is off.

Back to that routine.

A routine is going to be all about the habits you do every night. Start with one or two and slowly add to it as you build your best type of routine.

Some things to help you at night are:

  • Start dimming the lights 2 hours before bedtime
  • Fill an oil diffuser with a scent that tells your body it’s time to wind down (lavender and chamomile are great)
  • Drink a certain drink every night (not alcohol) such as camomile tea
  • Turn off technology (TV included) 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Having a designated sleep space.
  • Cutting off food an hour or so before bedtime
  • Taking a bath

Things that hurt sleep

  • Alcohol
  • Sleeping pills
  • Eating too close to bedtime.
  • Bluelight

Whatever habits you focus on, you want to start doing them every night at the same time (or similar time) in the same order. This will slowly ease your body into a sleep routine. As you begin these habits, your body knows “oh i get to go to sleep” and will get you ready to wind down and fall asleep faster.

As you experiment, start to pay attention to your sleep. How is it changing, are you noticing a difference in the morning?

8 hours of quality sleep is going to be better than 10 hours of junk sleep.

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Kristin Longacre

Hey There, I’m Kristin, a gluten-free nutrition coach helping gluten-free families adjust to their new lifestyle.

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