27 February 2013
We are never short of excuses to justify our sluggish attempt at working out– too much drinking, too full, too hungry, too tired…the list goes on. But what’s the most common reason holding you back from having the best workout ever? A bad night’s sleep. 25% of the UK population suffers from some form of sleep disorder, which means there are quite a few sleepyheads out there not functioning to their full potential. We have a few tips this week which should help you get that great night’s sleep you’re in desperate need of.
1. Ban the use of laptops, phones, iPads and TV before bed.
This is something 99% of us are guilty of and it is a serious disrupter of sleep. The more our brains process images from our personal handheld devices the longer it will take for our brains to “switch off”. So make it a household rule – ban the use of all electronic devices one hour before bed. Not easy to do especially if you’re like us and constantly need to be working or doing something. If you are antsy before bed and need that extra something to do, then reading a book is a good alternative.
2. Schedule your sleep for the same time – every day.
We are great at scheduling meetings, hangout sessions and play dates with our kids; why can’t we schedule our sleep? This is a hard one to tackle every day, especially for busy professionals or people with young families – but it is key. And by “every day” we mean every day – weekends, holidays and days off inclusive. Make it a priority.
3. Go easy on the caffeine during the day and alcohol and night
Cup of coffee in the morning = not a problem. Cup of coffee in the late-afternoon/evening = bad idea. Ingesting stimulants like coffee, sugar and alcohol should always be done in moderation, especially towards the late-afternoon/evening. And although alcohol does make you feel relaxed and sleepy, it can massively disrupt your sleep. So in the evening put down that nightcap and go for a small cup of caffeine-free herbal tea instead.
4. Get active during the day
You hear us preach this day-in and day-out but we do it because we love you: a proper exercise regime will do you wonders. Exercise helps in a variety of capacities, and can promote healthy sleep. But be strategic with what time you exercise – exercising too close to bedtime may leave you too energetic to fall asleep.
Sleep deprivation can have terrible long-term effects on your body and mind, so make your sleep a priority. And always seek professional medical advice if your sleep issues continue.
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