Sleep is the foundation of your wellbeing and is a vital indicator of overall health. Just like you plug in your mobile phone every day to charge up, the body and brain also needs charging up on a daily basis to regulate, repair and ensure plenty of rest.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults need between 7-9 hours sleep per night. It is essential for your mental health and a lack of it is linked to negative thinking, low mood and poor concentration. Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions including obesity, heart disease and diabetes, and can also shorten your life expectancy. To ensure a good night’s rest and develop good sleeping habits, follow these 5 top tips:
1 Bedtime routine
Having a relaxing bedtime ritual will help you get to sleep and ensure good quality sleep. Going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time helps to regulate your body clock. Try to stick to this routine at the weekend too.
2 Create the right environment
Your bed and the environment you sleep in can impact on the quality of your sleep. The life expectancy of your mattress is up to 10 years, so ensure you have a good quality, comfortable and supportive mattress. Pillows and bedding will also aid your sleep and help to create the right environment. Other factors include being free of noise and ensure the room is kept at a cool temperature. Your sleeping environment should be free of light, so consider using black out curtains.
3 Digital detox
Keep your mobile phone and other electronic devices out of the bedroom and have a digital detox one hour before you go to bed. Take time to relax and declutter the mind from thoughts of the day. Your body will shift into sleep mode a lot more quickly.
4 Things to avoid before bedtime
Avoid eating a heavy meal 2-3 hours before bedtime and opt for a lighter snack instead. Be aware of hidden sleep stealers such as alcohol and caffeine which can disrupt your sleep.
5 Exercise daily
Getting a minimum of 20 minutes exercise every day and spending time outdoors in the daylight will improve sleep quality and reduce depression. Exercise increases time spent in deep sleep and this helps to boost the immune function too.