Did you know that you are likely to spend over a third of your life horizontal? Yep, sleeping is that big of a deal and yet so many people suffer from disturbed sleep and insomnia, leading to health problems by the dozen.
It seems clear that poor sleep affects adults and children alike, often causing behavioural problems, low mood, exhaustion and a distinct lack of joie de vivre.
Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep at night but the recommended average is eight hours. This may not seem so difficult for a teenager who finds it hard to get up in the morning, but early in life and later in life sleeping can become the elusive dream.
What can you do to help yourself catch enough zeds and stay at your optimum health level? We’ve come up with five simple tips that could change your sleeping pattern for good and make you feel like a new person.
Watch your diet
Nothing messes up your system like bad food. Lots of sugar, fat and salt can have huge repurcussions for the way you feel generally and increases the likelihood of developing illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. Drinking too much coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks also messes up your circadian rhythyms, meaning a good, deep, restful sleep is hard to come by. Try cutting out all fast food, cutting down your sugar intake and not eating late at night. If you are peckish, a banana will raise your seratonin levels and make you feel more relaxed, enabling you to drop off more easily.
No booze for you
Well, that may be a bit extreme but drinking most nights will definitely affect your sleeping. Even if you only have a glass of wine or a beer or two, you definitely won’t have as restful or as long as night’s sleep. Alcohol dehydrates and it’s a proven depressant. Have a few days a week completely off the sauce, drink plenty of water instead and see the difference it makes.
Choose your bed carefully
Extraordinarily, people are usually fine to put in a lot of research and spend more money when it comes to buying something like a car or some clothes, but will skimp when it comes to their bed. Your bed is one of the most important pieces of furniture you will ever buy and you need to make sure you get the best bed for your buck. Work out which kind of mattress you need is it springformed or memory foam, for example? and then check out somewhere like bedstar uk they can advise on brands, beds and more and their prices are as low as you’ll be able to find anywhere.
Exercise is your friend
If you have high stress levels you may find that, although exhausted, you just can’t sleep. Adrenalin is still rushing round your body when you’re tucked up in bed and there’s no way you can turn your mental whirlwind off. The single most helpful thing you can do is to exercise regularly. Even if it’s only 30 minutes fast walking every day, you will notice the difference very quickly and find you’re dropping off more easily.
It can be tempting in the winter to crank up the heating and snuggle down under a thick duvet. This really isn’t the best way to get an optimum night’s sleep, however. Sleep with the heating off ideally and, when it’s not the depths of winter, a cracked open window can give some much needed fresh air. This will improve the quality of your sleep and enable you to wake up feeling rested and alert.