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Adequate sleep is often overlooked when people concentrate their efforts on diet and exercise, but it is an essential ingredient in your quest for improved health and well-being.
Those who fail to get enough sleep can actually gain more weight than those who do. This has been borne out by research which suggests that chemicals and hormones released during sleep play a part in controlling appetite and managing weight. Having too little sleep limits the body’s ability to do this.
Inadequate sleep also affects the functioning of our brain. Our concentration, memory, rationale and decision making can be severely affected and we can become bad-tempered and forgetful. Sleep deficiency has also been shown to increase the risk of obesity.
So sleep is important for brain health, our emotional well-being as well as our physical health.
When you develop good sleep habits you also promote your own good health.
When you’ve had a good night’s sleep you should awaken feeling energized and invigorated. Follow these sleep tips to increase your chances of restful sleep.
- Remove any clutter from your bedroom, which needs to feel as far removed from the stress of your day-to-day life as possible. You need a place of peace and calm to relax in for the night.
- In order to rest you also need to de-clutter your mind. Put aside any matters that are keeping your mind busy. Make a note of things to do when you awake, then forget about them until morning.
- Ensure your bed – mattress and pillow – gives you adequate support. You’ll sleep better if your bed is comfortable
- Keep your room as dark as possible during sleep hours.
- Allow for somewhere between seven and nine hours of sleep.
- Get into the habit of a bedtime routine. Spend some time relaxing before you get your head down.
- Soften the lights; take a shower, read a book.
- Try to go to bed at the same time each night, even if you don’t feel particularly tired. Your body will get used to it and after a few weeks routine, expect to be sleeping.
- Avoid eating before bedtime as it can make falling asleep difficult.
- Don’t drink caffeine within a couple of hours of retiring for the night.
- Exercise during the day rather than close to bedtime. Exercise will give you more energy afterwards so do it well in advance of going to bed.
- Ban pets from your bedroom if they disturb your sleep
If you are used to burning the candle at both ends, improving your night-time routine can be difficult. But it is not just because of weight related factors that sleep is important. Getting an adequate amount of sleep each night can increase your lifespan.
You’ll experience a huge improvement in your quality of life once you are able to rest well at night. So what are you waiting for? Start a relaxing bedtime routine tonight, lose weight while you sleep and wake up feeling refreshed tomorrow!