How to get a better night’s sleep

The quality of your sleep affects your mental and physical health, your energy levels and productivity, your emotional balance and even your weight. One night of bad sleep can cause increased hunger, cravings and daytime tiredness/sleepiness.

Have you noticed that if you don’t sleep well you eat bigger portions and consume more sweets? That’s because you’re trying to gain more energy from your food and yet are still unable to have a productive day.

The lockdown lifestyle continues as people stay at home a lot more than usual. People are working from home, watching TV and using social media more than before. Gyms are closed so there is nowhere to go to release stress and nowhere to go out to socialize and let off steam. All this can make it hard to sleep well through the night

You may not be able to do anything about this current lifestyle norm but you can try to find a way to relax and get more control over the quality of your sleep.

Getting into a routine always helps. Try to go to sleep and get up around the same time every day. It gives your day structure and rhythm so your body can adapt to a schedule, knowing when to rest and when to be active.

If you struggle to fall asleep you can try the followings:

  • You could journal before bed to get any thoughts and frustrations out and onto paper (this is my favorite – writing in a diary in bed works like a sleeping pill for me).

  • You could meditate (there are so many apps and YouTube videos with free meditation sessions – even a short 5-minute one can help).

  • You could take a bath before bed.

  • Put your phone away and relax. Speaking of, you could have a screen-free hour before bed where you put your phone away, read a book, do some yoga or stretching, talk about your day…

  • You could listen to some music instead of watching TV.

  • You could go for a walk to get some fresh air and clear your head.

  • You could drink some chamomile tea or any other calming tea before bed. Sipping tea itself is a very relaxing activity. Of course, try to avoid caffeine for at least 6 hours prior to going to bed, as well as sugary, refined carb food/drinks (at least before bed and ideally overall if possible – poor food choices can affect you negatively in general!)

Once you get into a routine of good sleep, you’ll feel the benefits tenfold – it’s like a magic elixir for a better mood, productivity and weight control too!.

Just don’t forget it’s a journey not a destination. If you have a bad night in the middle of a good run, see if you need to learn from it, let it go and get back on track as soon as you can.

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