The benefits of a good nights sleep.
Life is stressful, we are often over worked, feel underappreciated and have a lot going on in our everyday lives, this can lead to stress, anxiety and overall feeling unwell. Some people are surprised to hear that Sleep plays a major roll in how we feel every day. Too little or too much sleep can effect our mood, stress level, everyday health and daily body function. I spent years working shift work, playing video games til the early hours of the morning and noticed the effects of to little sleep daily. It wasn’t until I was a few year into the fitness industry that I realised how important sleep truly is to your body.
Sleep is a necessary part of body recovery. Alot of people I know won’t do a work out without a warm up or cool down but don’t think about how sleep has the same effect for your body overall. It is your brains time to recharge and your whole bodies time to rest and recover. Sleep is designed to repair your muscles from whatever you did that day from walking to deadlifting and this is essential to having a healthy recovery from exercise. It also allows your mind to relax which plays a big part in your mental health as well.
Ideally an adult should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night. For some this seems crazy but it is attainable, this is why even adults should have bed times. You know what time you have to be up in the morning, so count backwards 7-8 hours and that is your bed time. Your body will thank you in the morning believe me, I saw results within weeks when I swapped from shift work to more regular hours and was able to adjust my sleep and set myself a bed time.
The benefits of setting yourself a bed time far out way to side effects of getting not enough sleep. To little sleep can lead to high blood pressure, anxiety, obesity, depression, mental health issues, physical and mental performance, chronic sleep deprivation and other health conditions. It has also been known to hinder in fat loss and effect ones appetite and even the foods they eat.
Just some of the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep can include:
- Reduced stress levels
- Improved memory and retention
- Lower blood pressure
- Weight maintenance through hormone regulation
- Improved organ function
- Increased performance both physically and mentally
- Muscle recovery and repair
- Fat burning
For some people getting to sleep can be a problem as well. Here are my top tips on how to get to bed on time and fall asleep easier
- Exercise regularly
Put simply if you work your body, your body will be tired. Regular exercise also reduces your heart rate which in turn can make falling asleep easier as your heart rate doesn’t have as far to drop.
- Herbal Tea
This is a common one, but it is true. A nice cup of hot tea before bed can help sooth your mind and body and prepare it for a better night’s sleep.
The smell of lavender is said to help with relaxing the mind and body and aid in a good nights sleep.
- Read a book or article
Put away your Facebook and Instagram feed and instead choose to read a book or article this can assist in relaxing the mind and you will not get distracted by the world of social media and funny memes. The blue light on your phones or laptops can also trigger receptors in your brain to keep your mind awake longer. Switch to old school paper or warm light devices.
- Set Alarms
We all set alarms to wake up but why not set one at the time you have to go to bed? So you don’t get distracted and say ‘just one more episode, I’m not tired yet’ or get caught up in your online game as you try to relax. I do this daily and find it helps a lot.
- Eat a Healthy mix of foods
Maintaining a healthy balanced diet and eating a variety of foods can assist in getting a better nights sleep.
- Get bed ready
We often come home from work and get into comfy clothes and we also as adults often wear these comfy clothes to bed as well. It is important to set up a pre bed routine, get into PJ’s or get out of your clothes if you choose to sleep without any, brush your hair, have a tea etc. Whatever works for you. Eventually your body and mind will learn that this is your ritual and will start to prepare itself for sleep when you are doing these activities.
- Listen to music
If I am having trouble falling to sleep I often put on some music in the background to help calm my mind and ease into sleep. Over the years I have listened to anything from ambient noise to dedicated sleep playlists or even light gospel music. People often need background noise to assist with falling asleep. Plus phones these days allow you to set alarms to turn off music in X amount of time so its not playing all night long.
All in all if we let your body and mind recover daily we will feel better in ourselves, give it a try even for a week and you will notice the difference in yourself.
Do you have any tips on getting a good nights sleep? We would love to hear them, either leave a comment below or send us an email.