Sleep better with 5 tips to help you catch those ZZZ’s
We’ve all had nights when sleep alludes us, and those lost zzz’s can have a major impact on our day-to-day well being. Research shows that poor or broken sleep can have negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance, and brain function (1). However, a restful night is just a few adjustments away with these five simple and doable tips to help you sleep better:
1) Lay off the mid-day caffeine boost
It’s not unusual to want to reach for an afternoon cup of coffee for quick pick-me-up. But did you know that caffeine can stay elevated in the blood for 6–8 hours? Therefore, drinking a large quantity of coffee after 3–4 p.m. is not recommended if you are looking for a full night’s sleep (2).
Instead of running to your local coffee shop, have a few of these Vanilla Espresso Shot Blocks on hand to add a quick boost to your day. Made with Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin, not only will you notice an increase in energy, but the collagen protein found in the gelatin will support bone and joint health, promote healthy skin, hair, and nails, and support healthy digestion.
Get the recipe here: Vanilla Espresso Shot Blocks For Energy and Re-Fueling
2) Sleep in a sanctuary
Your bedroom environment and its setup are key factors in helping you to sleep better. Your sleeping quarters includes aspects such as temperature, noise, furniture choice and arrangement, lighting, and more (3). One study researching the bedroom environment of women found that about 50% of participants felt they’d had improved sleep quality when noise and lighting were reduced (4).
3) Don’t reach for a late-night snack
Late-night eating may negatively impact both sleep quality and the natural release of growth hormone and melatonin (5). It is suggested that a low-carb diet can also improve sleep, as carbs are not always necessary, especially if you stick to a low-carb diet (6). A healthy meal rich in glycine is a great way to start off a restful night and help you sleep better.
Get the recipe here: Collagen Teriyaki Cauli-Rice
4) Try a supplement
Glycine has been proven to improve sleep quality, and studies have shown that glycine ingestion before bedtime significantly improved sleep quality in individuals experiencing insomnia (7). Vital Proteins Collagen Protein provides 4,120mg of glycine per serving, making it a fantastic aid in sleep quality. Mixing collagen protein into a drink or smoothie is an easy way to work in ample amounts of glycine.
Get the recipe here: Vanilla Pear Smoothie
5) Get your sweat on during the day
Science has shown that exercise can enhance all aspects of sleep, and has been used to reduce symptoms of insomnia (8).
Although daily exercise is key for a good night’s sleep, working out too late in the day may also hinder falling asleep for some people. This is due to the natural stimulation of exercise, which increases alertness and releases hormones like epinephrine or adrenaline. However, some studies show no detrimental effects, so it depends on the individual (9).
If you must work out later in the day, try working yoga into your workout repertoire. Studies have shown that yoga can play an important role in improving sleep quality (10).
Try these tips: Yoga: Low Impact Fitness
(1) Cauter, E. V., Spiegel, K., Tasali, E., & Leproult, R. (2008). Metabolic consequences of sleep and sleep loss. Sleep Medicine, 9. doi:10.1016/s1389-9457(08)70013-3
(2) Fredholm, B. (2011). PL.02.01 Brain adenosine and the actions of caffeine. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 21. doi:10.1016/s0924-977x(11)70234-6
(3) Relative and Combined Effects of Heat and Noise Exposure on Sleep in Humans. (1991). Sleep. doi:10.1093/sleep/14.1.24
(4) Lee, K. A., & Gay, C. L. (2010). Can modifications to the bedroom environment improve the sleep of new parents? Two randomized controlled trials. Research in Nursing & Health, 34(1), 7-19. doi:10.1002/nur.20413
(5) Schwingshackl, L., Hobl, L. P., & Hoffmann, G. (2015). Effects of low glycaemic index/low glycaemic load vs. high glycaemic index/ high glycaemic load diets on overweight/obesity and associated risk factors in children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrition Journal, 14(1). doi:10.1186/s12937-015-0077-1
(6) Afaghi, A., O’connor, H., & Chow, C. M. (2008). Acute effects of the very low carbohydrate diet on sleep indices. Nutritional Neuroscience, 11(4), 146-154. doi:10.1179/147683008×301540
(7) Bannai, M., & Kawai, N. (2012). New Therapeutic Strategy for Amino Acid Medicine: Glycine Improves the Quality of Sleep. Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, 118(2), 145-148. doi:10.1254/jphs.11r04fm
(8) Reid, K. J., Baron, K. G., Lu, B., Naylor, E., Wolfe, L., & Zee, P. C. (2010). Aerobic exercise improves self-reported sleep and quality of life in older adults with insomnia. Sleep Medicine, 11(9), 934-940. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2010.04.014
(9) Myllymäki, T., Kyröläinen, H., Savolainen, K., Hokka, L., Jakonen, R., Juuti, T., . . . Rusko, H. (2011). Effects of vigorous late-night exercise on sleep quality and cardiac autonomic activity. Journal of Sleep Research,20(1pt2), 146-153. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2869.2010.00874.x
(10) Khalsa, S.B.S. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback (2004) 29: 269. doi:10.1007/s10484-004-0387-0