May 15, 2015
Sleep is one of the most important things in our lives and makes up a big part of a successful fitness or weight loss program. Many studies have linked lack of sleep with weight gain, poor performance while training, increased stress and increased eating.
In fact it has been shown that people now get an average of 2 hours less sleep a night than 60 years ago! So how can we make sure we get a good night’s sleep? Below are 5 tips to help you get the rest you need.
Many of the gadgets we have such as laptops, iPads, phones and TVs give off strong sources of light that trick our brain into thinking it is actually day time. This can lead to us struggling to fall asleep and having our sleep cycle disrupted.
Try and have a constant evening routine, bedtime and wake up time. For example try and eat dinner, get ready for bed and turn the light off at the same time each day. This will help tell your body that it is time to sleep and help you fall asleep more naturally
All of these are stimulants (though alcohol can make you feel sleepy it disrupts the deep sleep our bodies require). With caffeine try to make sure you do not have any after 3 pm. This includes sources other than coffee, including chocolate and teas (fruit and herbal teas are more likely to be caffeine free but green tea is not)
Many of us have many stresses in our lives and as such we may stay awake thinking about these. Try and find a way to relax and unwind for at least 30-60 minutes before you want to fall asleep to allow the mind to switch off. Reading (though not with an e-reader or iPad) or listening to relaxing music are good ways. However watching TV may have the effect of actually waking you up again.
Regular exercise has been shown to help improve sleep however it is important not to do it too late. If you exercise just before bedtime you can stimulate your body, keeping you awake. So make sure you do it at least a few hours before you want to sleep.
Hopefully some of these tips will help you all. If you have any other great ways to ensure a good night’s sleep why not post them here?