I have a reputation for always being on the go, whether I am involved with teaching classes, individuals, promoting my business or training myself, I generally have something going on 7 days a week.
So, it may be a surprise when I say that sleep is the top tip I can give when it comes to health and fitness. However, without adequate rest, there is no way I would be able to keep going for 12 or more hours per day!
A common thread I come across when talking to people, be it students, friends, family or colleagues, is that the vast majority of people are sleep deprived and quite often getting far less than the recommended 7-9 hours.
Do you wake up before your alarm clock goes off and are you able to skip the morning caffeine fix to get going? If the answer is no, you’re more than likely not getting enough sleep!
On a physical level, sleep is when we grow and heal after hard exercise, it is the best way to naturally optimise all of our hormones and prepare us for day to follow. Mentally, sleep is vital for mood, memory and overall mental wellbeing.
So in the 27/7 world we live in, how can we get the recommended amount of sleep? Try some of the tips below to enjoy a healthy increase in Zzzzzzzzz
- · Turn off TV, phones, laptops, tablets. Read a book. It’ll make you a more interesting person when you’re awake too!
- · Keep the bedroom cool and as dark as possible. Quite often when people wake up in the night and can’t get back to sleep, they’re too warm.
- · Develop a routine to ‘switch off’. Whether it’s having a hot bath, meditating, reading ….. settling down for the evening in a familiar way will help.
- · Avoid the weekend lie in. As tempting as it is to sleep in til midday on the weekends, you are only unsettling your routine. Your body doesn’t know it’s a Saturday morning! Better to get up and then have a power nap later in the day if you feel you need to catch up on sleep. Having a routine is best.
- · Quality mattress and pillows. A no brainer – you need to be comfortable!
- · Avoid caffeine, alcohol or too much food before bed. Whilst some food contain properties that will help you drop off and get quality sleep, too much will definitely keep you awake. As will excessive amounts of caffeine. Alcohol may allow you to drop off quicker but if will be a disrupted sleep.
So if you’re part of sleep deprived majority, try some of the techniques above and try to get 7-9 hours of quality sleep. Without a shadow of doubt, the waking hours will be far more productive.