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Why good quality sleep is vital

Updated: May 26, 2021

Sleep is crucial for our health and wellbeing. Poor sleep, i.e not sleeping for long enough each night and/or having disturbed sleep, can impact all aspects of health. Unfortunately, people tend to sleep less now than previous generations and sleep quality has deteriorated too.

This can impact:

· Weight and obesity risk

· Immune system function

· Brain function – productivity, performance and concentration

· The food choices we make as it directly affects the hormones that control appetite and satiation

· Cardiovascular disease risk

What is good quality sleep?

8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, ideally being asleep by 10pm as our most regenerative sleep occurs between 10pm and 2am. Our adrenals (stress glands) rest and recharge between 11pm and 1am and melatonin production is also at a peak.

How to improve your sleep

🔹 Increase exposure to bright light and natural sunlight during the day, particularly first thing in the morning, this helps to restore and reset our circadian rhythms.⁠ ⁠

🔹 Keep the hour before sleep screen-free, don’t stare at your phone or the tv, opt to read a book or listen to an audiobook instead.⁠⁠

🔹 Aim to eat your last meal of the day 3 hours before bedtime, this may mean a change to your routine but it will be worth it for your body to have digested dinner before bedtime.⁠

🔹 Don’t drink lots of fluids before bed to avoid Nocturia (night-time urination), hydrate during the day instead.

🔹 Be mindful of your caffeine consumption, avoid it completely after lunchtime. For those sensitive to caffeine (who can’t metabolise it properly), even one coffee first thing will disrupt sleep.

🔹 Alcohol can also drive disrupted sleep, increasing snoring and night time melatonin production.

🔹 Your bedroom environment is important, create a quiet, relaxing, clean space. Be mindful of the temperature, cooler is preferrable to hot.

🔹 Ensure that your mobile phone and other electrical devices are in flight mode as Electro-magnetic frequencies (EMF) can disturb sleep.

🔹Get yourself into a sleeping and waking routine - aim to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. This will help to stabilise your body’s circadian rhythm and regulate melatonin production.

🔹 Relax before you actually go to bed so your body understands that it’s time to rest and unwind. Listen to relaxing music, read a book, take a bath, meditate, do some breathing exercises.

If these tips do not improve your sleep please book a free 15 minutes consultation (green button, top of this page) as poor sleep can be an indication of other health issues such as sleep apnoea, poor blood sugar control, hormone imbalances.

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