We all know that a good night’s sleep can be crucial to our general daily wellbeing. However, good quality sleep isn’t just important for getting through the daily grind.
So why is good quality sleep so important to our health and wellbeing? Sleep-deficiency isn't just something that can make you feel groggy, grouchy and unmotivated, it's also linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke – so it matters for our health in the long term.
In the shorter term, lack of quality sleep increases levels of the hunger hormone ‘ghrelin’, this causes us to eat more and generally be less satisfied with what we eat. So it can also affect your weight.
Avoid caffeine after 4 pm, eating too late and alcoholic nightcaps. All have been proved to disrupt sleeping patterns. Did you know that caffeine has a 6 hour half-life? If you crave a hot-drink later in the day, make sure you switch to a de-caffeinated alternative.
Powernapping. If you need to nap in the daytime, keep it short. 20 minutes is restorative enough without disrupting your night-time routine
Give screens a rest an hour before bedtime. The blue light emitted from TVs, mobile phones and computer screens disrupts the secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin
Timeframes work best. Try to set a reasonable and realistic time for going to bed and getting up in the morning
Keep your bedroom cool. The body's core temperature needs to drop to initiate sleep, and cooler rooms help promote restorative, deeper sleep
The past 12 months has been fraught with anxiety, we’ve all spent time feeling on edge or in a heightend state of alert – it’s energy-sapping. As we recover from this period in our lives and start to embrace living again it’s important to feed those happy hormones!
Stay active – exercise releases endorphins, these natural chemicals in the brain enhance your sense of well-being
Do something you love – engaging in activities we enjoy helps to distract from anything negative we are experiencing. Engaging in a hobby is a great way to calm our mind
Rediscover small things that spark joy. Indulge in your musical guilty pleasures, set yourself realistic challenges, experiment with cooking, connect with friends, start small projects that have a beginning, middle and end for a sense of achievement.