Fitness

Exercise and Snacks Are The Keys To Better Sleep

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Getting a decent night’s sleep is as elusive as getting a horse to walk in a straight line. But between waking up early to get to a show, or staying up and stressing about work, it feels like actually being able to sleep is literally just a dream. Until you establish a healthy eating, exercise, and sleep routine getting enough sleep probably won’t happen.

The National Sleep Foundation’s #1 tip for getting a good night’s sleep is sticking to a sleep schedule. “This helps to regulate your body’s clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.” Keeping a routine is difficult on days when you have to get up early for shows, but shifting your sleep schedule so that you’re up earlier in the mornings can help make these anomalies not as harsh on your body.

Here at Stable & Spice, we’re all about trying new ways to exercise to stay in shape. Staying physically active not only keeps your body healthy, but it also can help you sleep better. Reducing stress and physically tiring you out are among the main reasons why working out is so good for sleep. The National Sleep Foundation’s research has also shown that working out in the early mornings or afternoons can help reset your sleep-wake cycle. Go for a walk, run, or ride outside in the sun to “let your body absorb natural sunlight during the daytime hours.”

Be sure to make having a bedtime snack part of your nightly routine. Everyone’s always told eating late at night is bad for you, but research suggests that some foods actually do help you sleep better. The bad news? Wine and other forms alcohol might help you fall asleep faster, but they actually make you wake up more times during the night. What you can reach for before bed is a bowl of cereal. Packed with complex carbs, cereals like Kashi or Special K are great options to have on hand. Adding some milk is a good idea, too, since milk has tryptophan, the same amino acid that makes you tired about your Thanksgiving turkey.

Sleep is as important as eating and working out is in order to stay physically and mentally healthy. Sometimes, though, there can be more issues at hand than needing to establish a good routine. Don’t forget to check in with your primary doctor if you’re having trouble.

Nicole is a writer for Heels Down Media. If she's not writing or editing, she's either running, doing yoga, or at the barn working on becoming a better, stronger dressage rider.

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