If you snooze, you lose? – Well, not quite…
It is well known that a lack of sleep can gravely affect your mood. But apart from the short temper and irritability, sleep deprivation can also seriously affect your health.
A serious lack of sleep could put you at risk of health issues such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes. It could potentially shorten life expectancy.
Now if that’s not a reason to rethink the number of z’s you’re catching, I don’t know what is.
This week’s blog post for our Health and Wellbeing Wednesdays segment is tackling this issue.
Here are some tips for a better night’s sleep:
Have a regular routine
Trying to stick to a regular sleeping pattern is essential in getting a better night’s sleep. Doing so will help regulate your body clock making it easier, eventually, to fall asleep each night.
When there is something troubling you, whether this is work or personal stress, it is hard to get those racing thoughts out of your mind. Relaxation is key. Take a long, hot bath, organise your thoughts by writing ‘to do’ lists, read a book or listen to music. Do anything that makes you feel calm.
Pay attention to what you eat and drink
The right diet and exercise programme will make it easier to get a good night’s sleep. Alongside a healthy diet, try not to go to bed too full or too hungry. If sleep is very important to you, a simple rule is to eat no less than a few hours before your bedtime.
Beware of nicotine and caffeine.
Control exposure to light
Melatonin is a hormone that is stimulated by light and that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain will secrete more melatonin, which makes you sleepy, when it is dark. So in order to get a good night’s sleep, try and keep your bedroom as dark as possible.
For this reason, try and avoid bright, artificial light at least 1-2 hours before trying to sleep. This means avoiding scrolling on Facebook or Twitter (or even catching up on the latest TNT News) right before bed.
Photo Credit: claudioscot