Mornings are quite possibly my favorite time of the day. There’s nothing like the quiet before the world’s awake, drinking a cup of coffee while reading a good book (and snuggling with Luma!) or sweating out some bike intervals to Girl Talk blaring in my ears.
That said, it’s important to set myself up for a good morning and a successful triathlon season – both involve getting a good night’s rest. Here are a few ways that help me wind down each evening and fall asleep shortly after hitting the pillow…
Shut down screens
I try really hard to turn off my laptop and iPhone screens by 9p every night. It doesn’t always happen, but it helps to be aware of it. If I recognize I’m mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Twitter, I shut it off (and only turn my phone back on to check that my alarm’s set).
If you have be on your computer, install f.lux (it’s free). It warms your computer display, eliminating the annoying blue light that can keep you awake. Similarly, be sure to turn on your iPhone’s night shift.
One of my goals this year is to read for 15-30 minutes before bed. And, to be honest, most nights I’m so tired I barely make it 10 pages! Getting lost in a novel helps me turn off my brain and tire my eyes – exactly what I need to help fall asleep fast. Currently reading: In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson (only 100 pages in, but it’s great).
I’m a fan of Epsom soaks for a couple reasons. One – they’re incredibly relaxing. And, two – they help relieve muscle soreness and can reduce inflammation. I take one weekly during training and on days I’m stressed and need to disconnect from the world.
Tart cherry juice
My nightcap: tart cherry concentrate mixed with San Pellegrino. It’s delicious, but even better – tart cherry concentrate is loaded with antioxidants; is an anti-inflammatory; and contains melatonin, which can help you sleep. I like a good glass of red wine, but much prefer this red before bed! Tip: Mix 2 tbsp tart cherry concentrate with 12 ounces of San Pellegrino (or La Croix!) and enjoy.
You spend one-third of your life sleeping. So, your bed should be amazing, right?! Inspired by our homestay at IRONMAN Wisconsin a couple years ago, we bought a Belgian linen duvet and sheets. They’re amazing and have gotten softer with every washing. Next up: Replacing our ancient mattress (with a king!). We may even look into online mattress companies, including Leesa, who inspired this post.
Post inspired by Leesa. Opinions are mine.