Simple tips to improve your sleep
Sleep is so important to us. Poor sleep can impact every area of our life and has a truly detrimental effect on our overall health. Poor sleep leads to poor energy and concentration. People who don’t sleep well or engage in shift work which leads to disrupted sleep cycles tend to gain weight easier also. This is because poor sleep increases production of ghrelin, our hunger hormone and decreases production of leptin, our satiety hormone. This, in turn, leads to us feeling hungry and can lead to poor eating habits.
In this blog I will take you through some tips to help you sleep better.
Improve your sleep environment
In order to improve your sleep you need to make sure you are comfortable in bed. Make sure the temperature of the room isn’t too hot or too cold as this can have an impact on your sleep. Remove all screens from the room. Try not to fall asleep while watching TV or be lying in bed scrolling on your phone. Try and have the room as dark as possible, this may mean you need blackout blinds in your room, particularly for summer time when it gets bright very early.
Create a routine
Try and go to bed and get up at the same time everyday. I meet people all the time who have major lie ins at the weekend and then have a feeling of being hungover on a Monday. Make things easy on yourself and try to roughly have the same routine every night. Get ready for bed, brush your teeth and get into bed at the same time every night. I usually suggest a little reading or listening to the radio as this can help relax you.
Exercise and eat well
Exercise is so vital for a healthy lifestyle. Exercise boosts sleep quality and also increases sleep duration. It also helps relax us which can help you nod off if you have trouble falling asleep.
Some people find that exercising at night can rev them up, if this is the case, change up your routine and get your workout in earlier in the day. Pilates is a great exercise to encourage sleep and if you find exercising at night too activating you can book into one of our earlier classes by clicking here
It is recommended that you take no more than 2 mugs of tea or one mug of coffee per day. This seems very little but any more than this can have an impact on your sleep and your health overall. Try to cut back a little on caffeine intake and avoid at all after 4pm if you want to get a good night sleep.
No screen time before bed
If you have trouble falling asleep, it’s a good idea to cut out all screens, tv, phone, laptop etc for at least one hour prior to bed. The blue light emitted from these devices can be very activating to our brains and can therefore hinder our ability to fall asleep.
Poor sleep can be very debilitating to us and therefore if you are having terrible trouble sleeping it is worthwhile visiting your GP for some help. The HSE also have a a handy webpage on sleep and insomnia. You can access it by clicking here.