Are you among the 1/3 of Americans not getting enough sleep? Try these tips!

A recent study reported that 1/3 of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep. Whether you are trying to shed a few pounds, increase your athletic performance or just function at your absolute best you MUST start with a good night’s sleep.

1. Make sure your room is cool (60-67 degrees is ideal…you should feel chilly if you’re not under the covers).

2. Keep the bedroom quiet. Seriously – wear earplugs if you need to or use white noise machines and fans to create this ambience.

3. Your room must have NO artificial light (turn off TVs, computers, phones). Make it as dark as a CAVE. Cover the light from your alarm clock, use blackout shades, close the doors, etc.

4. Be consistent about the time you go to bed and get up, even on the weekends.

5. Get into a routine that is relaxing, and do it every night! This should help you de-stress.

6. Avoid sugars and carbohydrates before bed. This will cause a spike in your blood sugar, then a crash. This may lead to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

7. Have a quality dinner that includes protein, vegetables and healthy fats (these fats provide your body with necessary building blocks to manufacture sleep hormones).

8. Cut yourself off from food FOUR hours before bedtime.

9. If you love a nightcap (glass of wine, anyone?) it may help you fall asleep but keep in mind that alcohol prevents you from entering the deeper stages of sleep. You may get 8 hours, but you may still wake up tired!

10. DO NOT drink caffeine after 1:00 pm because it stays in your system for 8 to 14 hours.

Once again, I invite (okay, politely challenge!) you to log 8 hours of sleep in a cold, dark, noiseless room on an empty belly sans caffeine – every night this week. Let me know what happens.

How different do you feel? Amazing, right? Do you find it easier to eat healthier? Are you more effective at work, school and in your workouts? Can’t wait to hear about your results!

To Your Amazing Health,