Sleep Yourself Healthy
The importance of healthy sleep on your wellbeing
Jon Bon Jovi famously wrote a song “Live when I’m alive, sleep when I’m dead” – if only that was good for our health!
We live in a Caffeine culture world to keep us alert… which again, is no good for us. We are insistent on staying awake no matter what the consequences. But sleep deprivation is lethal. Sleeping when you are dead is all well and good but when you are alive it is not recommended. People are kept awake when they are tortured and they end up going mad!
Lack of sleep leads to irritability, forgetfulness, and that’s just from mild sleep deprivation.
If you don’t sleep properly for months on end the consequences on health can be much worse. We spend about a third of our lives sleeping (I wish I did…) so why is sleep so important?
Insomnia affects our mood, our concentration and all aspects of our lives. If I have a good night’s sleep I feel invincible. I can run, work, train… I feel like a machine. But without sleep, I feel useless.
When your body clock is disrupted it affects how you think and behave. We all know this is true… we snap at the slightest thing! We become anxious, impulsive and lose empathy towards our closest friends or family or even colleagues in work.
It has become worse since the advent of television and mobile phones in the bedroom. I really struggled to sleep and took away these elements and used my bedroom just for sleeping and things did really improve.
Lack of sleep also affects the immune system and then you release stress hormones, which means you are more likely to be prone to serious illnesses. Lack of sleep can also make you eat more… and we all know what that leads to!
So how much sleep do we actually need? 7-8 hours is the norm, but it depends on the person, but most people need between 6-8 hours to function at their best. Exercise also helps because you tire yourself out, especially if you have a desk job.
Here are my top tips for a good night’s sleep:
- Dim the light before bedtime – minimise light exposure for at least half an hour before bed.
- Avoid anything that gets your heart racing… like watching a horror film!
- Wind down for at least half an hour before bed… get off your lap to or phone!
- Make sure your bedroom isn’t too warm; your body temperature drops when you sleep.
- Invest in blackout blinds… I couldn’t live without them!
- Avoid caffeine. It takes about 6 hours to clear out of your system.
- Avoid alcohol… I seem to be saying this every week! It may initially help you go to sleep but it dehydrates you and causes disturbed sleep.
- Also if you go to bed earlier you can get up earlier and go for that brisk walk before breakfast, which will help you lose weight!
For more information on healthy eating, exercise and much more check out my web site nonevans.com