How to Sleep Well Every Night
If you have problems getting quality sleep, here are our top tips on how to sleep.
Sleep is one of the most important pillars of health. Without adequate amounts of sleep each night your bodily functions are at a loss. You’ll begin to see your normal daily functions struggle, fatigue sets in, mental capacity is lessened and that pep in your step just isn’t happening - not to mention the effect it has on your stress levels!
To help you get a better night's sleep, every night, we chatted with corporate nutritionist Hannah Fell, from Hannah Fell Nutrition, to get her advice around all things sleep.
Negative Impact of Poor Sleep
Besides the known chronic illnesses such as type II diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, depression and metabolic disease, shorter sleep duration can also lead to elevated stress levels and energy fluctuations throughout the day.
When you have fluctuations in blood sugar levels due to sleep deprivation, you can expect your energy levels to fluctuate also... hello 3 pm slump!
When your sleep is compromised, cortisol, the dreaded stress hormone, can become wildly out of whack. Your body's sympathetic nervous response, also known as the fight or flight response, goes into overdrive causing all sorts of drama in the body - fatigue, brain fog, mood fluctuations and anxiety to name a few! In short, less sleep leads to more stress, both physical and mental.
Benefits of Good Sleeping Habits
In a perfect world, we want to aim for 8-9 hours sleep per night. When getting adequate sleep, your quality of life increases - you’ll begin to see stability in your mental health, an increase in your moods, improved immunity, weight regulation, increased motivation and productivity, and increased energy levels. What's not to love here!
How to Improve Your Sleep
1. Avoid Overstimulation
Reduce and avoid electronics at least 1 hour prior to going to bed e.g. phones, tv, iPads, bright lights and laptops. Blue lights affect your body’s ability to produce melatonin, your sleep hormone, and therefore can increase stimulation and exacerbate any existing sleep problems.
2. Take Note of Your Diet in the Afternoon & Evening
In the late afternoon and evening, try to avoid all stimulants. This includes processed food, refined sugar and any caffeine products like coffee, tea, and energy drinks.
Ensure you eat a balanced meal of protein, carbohydrates and fats for dinner. This will help support and stabilise your blood sugar levels throughout the night, and ensure that you don’t stir or wake up due to hunger.
3. Implement Relaxation Techniques
Aim to implement a 10-minute routine each evening before you get ready for bed. From deep breathing and meditation apps like Insight Time and Calm, to music therapy and audiobooks, there are lots of ways to help you get to sleep.
If you're feeling particularly anxious or stressed, try laying on the ground and placing your legs up against the wall. This can help calm your nervous system, aiding in a better night's sleep.
Now that you are armed with all the sleep knowledge to get a good night's rest, keen to read about more health tips? Head straight to our Health & Wellness pillar for more self-care hacks and wellness tips.
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