Quality sleep is vital for life and contributes to our overall health and well-being, it also helps to improve our immune system, our attention, our mood and helps to regulate our metabolism and appetite.
So are you getting enough????
- Adults should have upwards of 7 hours a night
- Less than 6 means increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, depression and obesity
- Good quality sleep leads to a stronger immune system, improved attention, concentration and mood
- Enough sleep makes us more creative, more energetic, more focused and better able to learn
- When we are deprived of enough sleep we produce more ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and less leptin (the fullness hormone) leading us to potentially overeat and gain weight
Here are some tips to help us all sleep better..
- Exposure to bright/sun light during the day (every day)
- Reduce blue light exposure as it stimulates the brain making it harder to fall asleep – computers/Smartphone’s are the worst
- Buy glasses that block blue light
- Use apps that can block the blue light from your gadget
- Less caffeine before bedtime – look at what you could choose that’s caffeine free
- Stop the granny naps
- Set alarms for not just getting up but also going to bed
- Melatonin (sleep hormone) is naturally found in bananas, ginger, cherries, corn, pomegranate, tomatoes, asparagus, grapes, broccoli, cucumber, olives, rolled oats and rice as well as some seeds
- Glycine can help improve sleep quality and a good source is meat, fish, dairy products and pulses
- Magnesium can improve relaxation and enhance sleep so try to include the following foods in your diet regularly – tofu, fatty fish, bananas, leafy greens, pulses and oats
- Food supplements – only 1 at a time so try 1 and see how you get on
- Lavender – calming and improves sleep
- Ginkgo biloba – natural herb aids sleep, relaxation and stress
- Valerian root – help you fall asleep and improve sleep quality
- L-theanine – can improve relaxation and sleep
- Don’t drink/minimize alcohol as it is a stimulant
- Sort your bedroom environment- eliminate external light and noise to get better sleep and remember a messy bedroom can lead to a messy mind that is hard to relax
- Bedroom temperature – temperature affects your sleep more than noise 18.3 degrees Celsius is the optimum temperature for the best sleep
- Don’t eat late at night – consuming a large meal before bed can lead to poor sleep and hormone disruption
- Relaxation techniques – hot baths and meditation
- Comfortable bed and pillow – we’ve all probably heard bed retail companies recommending we renew our beds regularly – well its not just advertising propaganda you really should replace your bed/mattress every 6-8 years and your pillows every 1-2 years as they lose the ability to give your body the correct support you need for a good nights sleep
- Exercise regularly during daylight hours
Most of us are aware of how a child is when its doesn’t get enough sleep we are no different – having set bedtime routines works not just for your children but is also beneficial to you.
Sleep plays a key role in our health and If you are interested in better health and well-being then you should consider making sleep a top priority. If your mind and body is well rested you’ll be in a better place to make better/healthier choices.