The Importance of Sleep
Busy lifestyles can often mean we make sacrifices and one of the common things that can be interrupted is our sleep. Healthy lifestyles are a combination of many things and a good amount of sleep is important for you to be at your best. While the amount of hours you need to sleep each day varies from person to person and at different stages of your life, on average an adult needs around 8 hours sleep each night.
Tips for Better Sleep
- Keep a regular schedule for sleeping. This helps your body get into a routine. While it may not always be possible, if you can do this, it is a big help.
- Try and wake up without an alarm. It is a wonderful feeling waking up each morning without an alarm screaming at you to wake up. Rather, wake up naturally. It is a much calmer way to start your day.
- Exercise regularly. This is not only going to help your sleep, but also your overall health.
- Meals at night shouldn’t be too big and preferably not within 2 hours of when going to sleep. If they are fatty they should be avoided even more, as the body takes longer to digest and break down this food, and can interfere with a good night sleep.
- Try and steer clear of caffeine for at least 6 hours before bedtime.
- Alcohol can interrupt your sleep, so try not to have too much, especially before sleeping.
- Have a routine before sleeping so you can wind down. Take your time and relax while you are getting ready for bed.
- Stay off your smart phone, tablet or computer before sleeping. It’s easy to get distracted by an incoming email or new post on social media and before you know it an hour or two has gone by!
The Beauty of the Nap
Napping can help you throughout your day if you have been short on sleep the night before. The key is to not nap for too long. After 30 minutes you may feel groggy as you start to go into a deep sleep. It has been suggested that 10-20 minutes is a good amount of time to make you more alert and increase your mental capacity. You don’t have to lie down either. Try napping sitting upright. It will also help you not nap for too long. While napping can be good, it is important you focus on your main sleep at night with naps as an occasional top up rather than your main form of sleep. If you have problems getting to sleep at night, try not to nap in the day until you are back to getting to sleep with ease at night again.
Put sleep as a priority in your life. You will notice the benefits and have more energy to enjoy each day and lead a healthy lifestyle.