We all know how important sleep can be.We hear it all the time from every health professional going. Sure I even spoke about it in another article on kick-starting your fitness journey. As boring as it may seem it really is game-changer. It doesn’t just affect your energy, it’s also vital for recovery, digestion, the immune system, memory…the list goes on and on. But with so few of us managing to get the bare minimum, how can we possibly imagine hitting the elusive 8 hours? Well don’t panic, I’ve put together some really easy and useful tips on getting better sleep, not just in quantity but in quality too. Before we begin, can I just state that not everyone’s sleep requirements are the same and everyone’s schedules certainly are not the same so please don’t look at other people and think their sleep pattern is something you need to emulate. As with everything related to health and wellness, there’s a bit trial and error involved here.
- Do a Brain Dump:
Of all the things I’ve tried and recommended, this has definitely helped me the most. If you’re anything like me, then your brain will wait until the exact moment you decide to lay your head on the pillow before it springs 50,000 thoughts and worries your way. Well not anymore! Basically, just before you go to bed you take a pen and paper and write down all the things that might be causing you stress and worry. All those annoying little niggling thoughts and items from the to-do list. It might sound simple and somewhat silly but it really does help to clear your head and quieten your thoughts, leading to a calmer easier drift to the land of nod.
2. Tech free bedroom:
I know this is something we hear time and time again but there’s a reason! The blue light from our screens massively impacts our melatonin levels which helps to regulate our sleep patterns. Even more dramatically, new research has shown that light from screens just before bed can actually affect how alert and energized we feel the next day. Participants from the study that read on an iPad before bed were less sleepy at night, took longer to fall a sleep and had shorter REM cycles. Take the science out of it, it’s pretty obvious that stimulating your brain before bed with action filled TV shows or riveting news stories is never going to be a good idea! So ditch the tech at least 30-60 minutes before bedtime.
3. Create a bed-time routine:
It might sound juvenile but a good routine is essential to allow your body time to recognise that it’s winding down and getting ready to sleep. And before you tell me you don’t have the time for baths and meditation, your routine can look however you like, just make sure it’s something relaxing and something that you can adhere to takes at least 20-30 minutes.
There you have it. Three simple tips to help you get back to sleeping like a baby. As always, thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts 🙂