- Sloane Stephens Off-Court
- Let’s All Be Team More Sleep!
Let’s All Be Team More Sleep!
Why rest is part of the work 😴
Let’s All Be Team More Sleep!
Between the end of Daylight Savings Time and my jet lag here in Spain, I was feeling a bit tired to start this week. As we quickly approach New Year’s Resolution season, your social media feeds may be full of people trying to push you to step up your fitness game. But all the trainers I’ve worked with throughout my career have taught me that your body doesn’t change while you exercise. The change happens when you rest. Rest is part of the work! And that’s just one reason why we all need to be Team More Sleep!
Don’t get me wrong. Obviously, I’m not saying you don’t need to exercise. Physical activity is good for the body no matter what your fitness goals are. But getting enough sleep is just as important.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, good sleep improves your brain performance, mood, and overall health. And not getting enough quality sleep increases your risk of many diseases and disorders, from heart disease and stroke to obesity and dementia. Your blood vessels and immune system use sleep as a time to repair. Studies have shown that people gain weight with lack of sleep and their bodies aren’t able to control blood sugar levels as well.
If you think you can have trash sleep habits during the week and then make up for it on the weekend, think again. That’s not a thing. Research shows that yes if you have one bad night’s sleep and take a nap or sleep longer the next night, that can help you. But if you have a week’s worth of not getting enough sleep, the weekend isn’t enough for you to catch up.
Creating a calm environment on the road
How to Get Better Sleep
Most adults need at least seven hours or more of sleep each night. But getting good sleep isn’t just about the amount. The quality of your sleep counts too.
Here are some things you can do to get a good night’s sleep.
Create a nighttime routine.
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. Sticking to a sleep schedule will make it easier to fall asleep and rest well. When I’m not traveling, I like to eat dinner super early, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., and I like to be in bed very early. I am probably in bed by 8:30 p.m. and I’m asleep by 9:30 p.m.
Having a bedtime routine also signals to your body that it’s time to start winding down. My nighttime routine always includes a piping hot shower. Three times a week – whether I’m at home or on the road – I like to do a face mask. And when I’m feeling extra bougie, I’ll do a little lemon tea before bed.
You may also want to add some journaling or meditation to your nighttime routine to help clear your mind before bed. Calm is one of the most popular sleep and meditation apps out right now.
Get active during the day.
Exercise and rest go hand in hand. Getting in some activity every day can help you fall asleep more easily and get better rest at night. But avoid working out too close to bedtime.
Watch what you eat and drink.
Avoid large meals, alcohol, and caffeine before bedtime. If you want to sip tea before bed, opt for non-caffeinated relaxing herbal teas like lavender and chamomile.
Put your phone down!
I think by now we all know that we need to avoid staring at electronic devices like TVs, computers, and our phones before bed. This is so hard to do! But if you promise to try, so will I.
Create a good sleep environment.
You’re obviously not going to get a good night’s sleep if your bedroom isn’t comfortable. You want to make your room cool, dark, and quiet. Even when I’m on the road I go the extra mile to make sure my hotel room is relaxing by bringing a humidifier or aromatherapy diffuser with me.
Remember your sleep routine is just as important as your workout routine as you strive for better health and to be your best self.