By Danielle Pascente
For years I have been the “joke” on weekend nights when I hang out with friends. “Time for granny to head off to bed,” they would say at 9:00 PM. I’d respond, “YEP…ain’t no shame in my game.”
I used to have this complex about ducking out early. “What would people think? What would people say”
Here’s the thing, often times people’s comments are a direct reflection of their own insecurities. Maybe they don’t take as good of care of themselves and they secretly admire your dedication.
For me, sleep is about so much more than a routine thing we do at night. Sleep is the most important thing when it comes to any health and fitness routine. If you lack sleep, it’s tough to perform. Not just at work, but in your workouts too. I aim for seven or eight hours a night. However, I prefer nine if I can manage to steal that much.
Here are a few of my tips to help get yourself in bed early:
Try to cap off work at a certain hour. I just launched a new business in 2017 and it was the “year of no sleep.” I was averaging five hours a night. Why? Because it was hard for me to shut off work. Sometimes, I would be up until midnight or later, responding to e-mails, customer questions, etc. This year, I’m making it a point to cap it off at a certain hour.
Head to your bedroom as early as possible
I’m not the type of person that can just go to the bedroom and go to bed. I have a nightly routine that takes about 30-45 minutes until I’m actually in bed. Leave yourself time to really unwind instead of lingering in front of the TV or snacking in the kitchen.
Brush your teeth after dinner
This keeps me from mindless eating which is half the reason I’m up later some nights (haha). When I started brushing my teeth after dinner, not only did it saved me from eating stuff I don’t need to eat, but it also kept me from lingering in the kitchen area and wasting sleep time.
Set your clothes out for the AM
Instead of having a long list of To Do’s in the AM, see if any of those things can be done at night. Can you set out your outfit? Pack your bag? Pack your meals? What can you do to prepare in order to tack on an extra 15-30 mins of sleep?
Don’t check your phone right upon waking
I swear I still do this sometimes and can go down the rabbit hole taking away tons of time from my morning routine and forcing me to feel VERY rushed to do the things I need to do. Wait until you feel settled to start checking e-mails, texts, social media, etc.
On nights when you do have to be out later or attending a social event, it’s OK to be the first one headed home. I always ask myself this question. “Will people remember I left early tomorrow when they wake up?” The answer is most often, “NOPE.”
Sleep is as much of a lifestyle change as fitness is. You have to find that balance and make it a part of your life on the regular in order to see the benefits. But when you get it down to a science, I promise your body and brain will thank you.
Danielle Pascente is an established personal trainer in Los Angeles and runs her own personal training business, Pascente PT. Danielle can be found as the lead trainer for the 30 Day Fat Burn series on BeFit.