The facts are in: Adequate sleep is crucial to crushing just about any other goal. Whether you’re looking to build strength, lose weight, run farther, play better, bag that promotion, write that book, or just feel better, all strategies come back to shut-eye. Your brain requires it to imprint good form as you forge neural pathways, to endure, to react more quickly, anticipate sooner.
But getting a solid eight hours is still a tough resolution to keep, especially on nights when you’re tucked in on time—but wide awake and stressing out about it. We asked the fitness professionals and members featured in 24 Hour Fitness’ ad campaigns and in 24Life workouts for their tips to get better sleep.
Make a point of self-care
Richard J. Oliver, GX24 instructor: I put on a nice eye mask that goes all the way around, because as you get older, your eyelids seem to get thinner. My wife’s there on her phone, and the light’s on. So, I put a nice, big eye mask that goes over my ears, and I’m gone for the night.
Ashley Lopez, personal trainer: Melatonin.
Maggie Chen, GX 24 instructor: I drink another glass of water. (The first thing I do when I wake up is drink two glasses of water.)
Find your gratitude and write it down
Trish Ignacio, FitSquad24 member and social media influencer: I have a gratitude journal. Right before I go to sleep, I write about the top three things that were good that I’m thankful for. I feel like when you sleep in thankfulness, you wake up in that same mode. I never take any day for granted.
Erica Johnson, personal trainer: I journal about what happened today, what went wrong, what went right, can something be corrected, and what I am grateful for that I didn’t even expect to happen today. I start and end my day that way.
Patti Campbell, GX24 instructor: I might be having a bad day, but if I think about three things or four things that I’m grateful for before I fall asleep, I tend to sleep better. I tend to be happier, for sure.
Get your food for thought
Rory Santos, personal trainer and assistant fitness manager: The last thing I do before I go to sleep is always a mind-centered thing, to focus inward and rest my mind and my thoughts a little bit. I read from the Bible and I do prayer or meditation. Your thoughts are the strongest thing, the most crucial thing you have going for yourself, and they affect you physically. Your brain is still working when you’re sleeping, so when I can end the day on that good thought track, I’m bound to have way better sleep. I wake up more refreshed and energetic and positive.
Bryan Burke, FitSquad24 member and social media influencer: The last thing I do at night before I go to sleep is read a devotional with my fiancée. We have a couple’s devotional and I think it’s extremely important to have that relationship building, to have a better connection together.
Photo credit: Kamil_S, Unsplash