We live in a constant rush where schedules are overflowing, responsibilities are increasing, and the only response we have is to load our tired hands with cups filled with caffeine. Sleep (or even rest)has become the lowest priority on our list and I don’t understand why, as it's essential that our body and brain recharge.
The importance of sleep is often being taken for granted. I was shocked when I learnt that we spend up to one-third of our lives sleeping. But it comes as no surprise that sleep is a basic human need, much like food and water, and it’s crucial to our overall health and wellbeing.
The science tells us that sleeping is a time for your heart and blood vessels to heal and repair. Sleep is also an important factor for lowering the risk of diabetes, as it affects how your body reacts to insulin. As you know, I am always trying to find new ways to improve my own and my family's lifestyle. Being tired tends to make you more prone to reaching out for comfort food instead of healthy, well balanced and nutritional meals.
I find that good sleep is great for my mind as well. Feeling well-rested enhances my mood, makes me feel more efficient as well as feeling much more positive. I aim to achieve between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. But it’s not always about how long you sleep for, it's the quality as well. Otherwise, you will never get the full benefits.
Here are some tips and tricks I use to maintain a healthy sleeping schedule:
1. Firstly, I always make sure to keep my bed reserved for sleep only.
2. I make sure that I avoid eating in my bed. It’s not great for hygiene either sleeping in cup cake crumbs and finding empty crisp packets under your pillow!
3. Make sure you separate where your workspace is, from your sleeping area.
4. I try my best to switch off from work and anything that may cause me to stress that will prevent me from sleeping,
I like to avoid using my phone or laptop up to at least one hour before I go to sleep. The blue light from the screen disrupts natural sleeping patterns by affecting our melatonin (sleep hormone). I know this is hard but start by making small adjustments such as switching your devices into night shift mode. I find it gives a yellow tint to your display, minimising the negative effects on your hormones. If your device doesn’t have a built-in night mode, you can try Twilight (for Android) or f.lux (for Windows).
Try not to think of these as restrictions, but as preventions to try and help you get better sleep and rest you deserve
Good luck and sleep well!
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