Sleep More, Live Better, Look Younger

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How many times have you woken up in the morning wishing that you had gone to sleep earlier? And as you reluctantly peal back your toasty covers and step out into the cold (or warmth, depends how stingey you are when it comes to heating), you make a promise to go to bed earlier. And the next day, you say the same thing all over again, as your tired feet carry you to work after another bad nights sleep.

I’m the first to admit that I don’t get enough sleep. I’m usually up until around midnight doing absolutely nothing that’s worth feeling tired for! I don’t know what it is about sleep. Children hate going to bed because they believe that they are going to miss out on something exciting. And as for adults, getting a good night’s sleep is like winning the lottery. It’s something that you want and you always hear about it happening to other people, but it never happens to you.

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As we age it actually becomes harder for us to fall asleep because our bodies produce less melatonin. Melatonin helps to regulate our sleep cycle. And to make things worse, we all have our own individual worries and stresses to prevent us from sleeping.

If you’re finding it hard to fall asleep or continually wake up during the night, here are a few tips to help you on your way to the land of nod.

Magnesium

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Magnesium’s health benefits are endless and one of them is that it can actually help you to sleep better. It has a calming effect on your brain, so if you suffer from anxiety or find it hard to switch off at night, magnesium could help to make you feel a little bit more settled. I picked up this tub of Magnesium after a session at Embody Fitness and it’s one of the highest quality magnesium supplements that I have come across.

You are probably used to taking your vitamins in the morning but Magnesium is better to be taken at night. Try taking it a few hours before you go to sleep and monitor how you sleep.

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How much sleep to you actually get? You may go to bed at 11 and wake up at 6, but did you actually get 7 hours sleep? And how many of those hours were “good sleeping quality?”

I use a Misfit activity tracker to track my sleep and it records periods of light and deep sleep. I try to get around 7 hours of sleep but if I wake up during the night, my misfit records that too and on the nights when I struggle to go back to the land of nod, 7 hours of sleep becomes 7 hours in bed, but only 5.5 hours of actual sleep.

You don’t realise how little sleep you’re getting until you wear an activity tracker.

Switch off 

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Every evening, turn your bedroom into a technology free zone by putting all of your electrical devices on silent, do not disturb or whatever it takes for you to not look at your phone. Laptops should be banned too. Beds are for sleeping, not for working.

Remove everything that could possibly distract you, from your room and if you find it hard to fall to sleep, read a book. An actual book, with pages. The light from your kindle or Ipad will just keep you awake and before you know it, you’ll be refreshing your Facebook feed again.

Move More

If you go from sitting down in an office all day to sitting down in front of the TV and then to bed, there’s no wonder you can’t sleep! Your body isn’t tired! Although your mind has probably gone into over drive from staring at computer screens all day, which is why you can’t sleep at night, your body is far from tired.

Try to get in a bit of physical activity everyday. Go for a 20minute walk on your lunch break or squeeze in a quick interval session before work.

Hydrate  

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Did you know that dehydration contributes to insomnia? It reduces the amount of melatonin in your blood which makes sleep feel like an impossible task. Try to drink at least 2 liters of water everyday and make sure you remain hydrated in the hours leading up to bed time. But don’t over do it, too much water will have you waking up in the middle of the night!

I hope these tips are useful! Let me know if you try any of them out before you go to bed tonight.

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