I absolutely love a good night's sleep. You know the kind when you drift off as soon as your head hits the pillow and don’t wake up until moments before your alarm. Those awesome mornings when you wake up feeling refreshed, positive, energised and ready to tackle the day.
Yet some nights, despite feeling exhausted, it can be really difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep.
Sleep is so important, not only for allowing our brain to reboot after a long day, and our body to rest, but also for the repairing and rebuilding of your muscles and blood vessels as well as the production and balance of many different hormones.
Did you know that poor sleep has been linked to weight gain? When you sleep, your body regulates the two hormones that are responsible for feeling hungry (ghrelin) and for feeling full (leptin). If you are sleep deprived then your level of ghrelin increases and your leptin levels drop. This is why you feel more hungry when you have had a poor night's sleep.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your evening sleep so that you can wake up feeling the best version of yourself!
Set yourself a schedule - Try to make a bedtime and stick to it. You can actually train your body’s sleep-wake cycle by being consistent. If you give yourself a set bedtime, your body will begin to naturally grow tired at that time. It can take a little time for your body to adjust, however, consistency will help you nod off when you need to!
Create a ritual - Taking the time before bed to relax and unwind is an excellent way to help calm your mind and prepare you for a good night’s sleep. You may enjoy a nice warm bath, like to listen to some relaxing music, read a book or do a meditation. Focus on things that help you relax for the hour leading up to your bedtime.
Avoid overindulging - Avoid consuming rich foods, or foods high in sugars before bed as these will interrupt your sleep by either energising you or overworking your digestive system. Try to have your last meal at least an hour and a half before bed. Stimulants such as caffeinated tea, coffee, or alcohol will also disrupt your ability to sleep restfully, so avoid these for a few hours before bedtime to help ensure you get the most out of your sleep time.
Turn off your tech - As tempting as it may be to scroll through FB as you are lying in bed, staring at a screen actually interferes with your body’s melatonin production and will delay your ability to drift off. So try turning your tech off at least half an hour before bed to support your body’s natural ways of becoming tired.
Cater your environment - If you struggle to get a good night's sleep, then perhaps you should consider how conducive your sleeping environment is? Things such as comfort, lighting and fresh air all play a role in your ability to gain a restful sleep.
Exercise each day - Exercising regularly will help you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer. Plus you will feel tired on a physical level as well as a mental level.