Sleep is absolutely crucial to your health.

When it comes down to improving your overall health, sleep is just as important as nutrition and exercise.

Good sleep helps our bodies and minds recover, keeping us lean, happy, mentally focused, and healthy.

Those who struggle to get enough shut-eye are often fighting with their body fat, messing up their hormones, reducing their brain cells and draining that ‘get up and go’ attitude.

So what can you do today, to start improving that sleep quality?

  1. Dump the electronics at the door!

It’s no wonder that sleep deprivation has become a real issue in today’s society. Those electronic devices keep us stimulated throughout the day and are being taken into the bedroom with us. How many of you use your phone as your alarm clock? Traditional alarm clocks still exist and are a far healthier replacement!

Try to unplug from all screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

Our brain produces melatonin as light levels decrease. Melatonin ensures deep sleep, and may also help regulate our metabolism. If we have too much light at night, we don’t get proper melatonin production.

 

  1. Create a sleep routine

Your wind down routine in the evening is absolutely crucial for a successful nights sleep. You need to tell your body that it’s time to sleep.

Have a go at incorporating some of these activities into your wind down routine:

  • Stretching/Yoga – Even 5-15 minutes can release tension and activate calm-down chemicals.
  • Reading before bed– Set time aside to lie down with a good book.
  • Meditation, deep breathing, or other simple relaxation exercises

 

  1. Keep a regular schedule.

We are creatures of habit after all. Our bodies respond well to a regular routine. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and night. This is not always going to be realistic but try your best to be as consistent as possible. It’s all about making it obvious to your body that it is bedtime and time to shut off. 

 

  1. Be aware of what you are eating and drinking around bedtime.

Try to limit your fluid intake 2-3 hours before bedtime. Frequent trips to the bathroom are not fun during the night and extremely disruptive to your sleep routine.

Allow your evening meals to digest for at least 2 hours before venturing into bed. Having a large meal immediately before bed can disrupt your ability to fall and stay asleep.

 

  1. Sleep at least seven hours.

As a general rule of thumb, the majority of people benefit from getting anywhere between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. 7 should really be the minimum. If you know that you need to be asleep by 9:30 PM to get your full winks in, ensure that you begin your wind down routine early enough. Remember your body needs to be told.

So go on, give these a go.

Here’s to getting your sleep in tact!

 

Ginny Coates

Health & Wellness Coach – Hale Fitness

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