Sleep is often underrated, with people slinging around sentences such as ‘you can sleep as much as you want when you're dead’ or ‘napping is for the old’. But research into the importance of quality sleep has definitely gained more and more momentum as we see the detrimental effects of poor sleep on our health.
Studies have suggested that inadequate sleep may increase the risk of developing diabetes, being obese, and having poor cardiovascular health (high cholesterol, high blood pressure etc.).
But how does one get the recommended 7-9 hours each night? An important thing to note is that consistency is what matters in the long term, so if you have do have a short night once in a while, this will not impact your health as much as if you sleep on average 4-5 hours per night.
Here are a couple of practical tips you can implement to ensure a good night's rest:
- Your bedroom temperature: keeping your room at a cool 18C will allow your body temperature to decrease, which is beneficial in helping you drift off and maintain sleep.
- Avoid blue light before bed: this is all light from screens and various devices. This affects your circadian rhythm by suppressing the important sleep hormone, melatonin. Ditch the screens 2-3 hours before bed so that your melatonin production will be unhindered.
- Implement a bedtime routine. This will train your body (and brain!) to prepare for bed, whether this is practising a few breathing exercises, drinking a herbal tea (think chamomile or lemon balm), reading a couple of pages of a good book or jotting down your day’s thoughts.
- Steer clear of the night cap: alcohol is a sedative and will disrupt your REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, also known as the dreaming phase of your sleep. A study was done on rats who were deprived of REM sleep and their mortality increased almost as much as when they were food deprived.
- Ensure your diet is as optimal as it can be: increase your intake of melatonin- rich foods and avoid caffeine and sugary treats before bed as these will give you energy bursts which will have the opposite effect.
- Lastly, set an alarm to notify you when it’s time to start preparing for bed, similar to the last call in the pub.
Why don't you try our Sweet Sleep today? It contains a careful selection of nutrients to help you prepare for a deep and restful sleep. Packaged in 30 individual capsules, it provides a blend of vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts, such as:
- Lemon balm, the popular ingredient in relaxing teas;
- L-theanine, the common ingredient in green tea leaves;
- Vitamin B6, which contributes to the normal function of the nervous system;
- Essential minerals zinc and magnesium in a highly absorbable form.
We're drifting off already... 😴
Other related articles:
Nutrients depleted by alcohol and drugs
Intuitive eating: what is it and should we all be doing it?
Are there any secrets to losing weight?