After touching on stress yesterday, another often overlooked factor in our healthy lifestyles is sleep. As we are thrown out of routine with another lockdown, sleep can be deprioritised, this can have a number of negative affect on our body and minds.
Below we will look at why sleep is so important, the effect of too little sleep, and how to create a better sleep routine.
The Importance of Sleep
Sleep is just as important as nutrition and exercise when it comes to health, performance, and the way we look. When we sleep our body not only restores and rebuilds. It decreases inflammation, helps hormone recovery, and consolidates information & cognitive functions.
The Effects of Poor Sleep
The average adult should aim for between 7 & 9 hours sleep a night.
Anything under this can:
Make it harder to get and stay lean
Make it harder to gain and keep muscle
Increase your stress levels
Age us faster
Increase the risk of chronic illness
Drain our IQ
Kill our Sex Drive
A Better Night Time Routine
When we wake we don’t expect to go from 0-100, likewise, when winding down we shouldn’t expect to go from on – off in a space of a few minutes. Your body needs time & cues to wind down in order to guarantee a good night’s sleep.
Keep A Regular Schedule – Try to goto sleep at the same time each day
Keep Alcohol & Caffeine low – avoid caffeine after 2pm
Nutrition Timing – Avoid large meals just before bed & avoid excess fluids 2 hours before bedtime
Turn off electronics – Avoid blue lights 30 minutes before bed, if you must use a screen, consider using a program like f.lux.
Make sure your room is cool – The perfect sleep temperature is between 16-18 degrees
De Stress – Think reading, light movement (stretching), or meditation
Make your room as dark as possible – This will maximise melatonin production creating a deep sleep
Keep A Regular Schedule – Try to wake at the same times each day
Avoid an aggressive Alarm – This will increase our stress hormones first thing
Wake up to light -A dawn simulating alarm such as a Lumie will slowly wake you, ensuring you are relaxed and alert on waking.
Get Moving – Avoid hitting snooze and swing your feet out of bed
We hope these pointers will help you improve your sleep, setting you up for a productive and healthy day!