A good night’s sleep makes the world look a happier place, aids weight loss & boosts your mental & physical performance. Your body needs good quality rest to repair itself after exercise. But, the more stressed you are, the less likely you are to sleep easily. Lack of sleep messes with your hormones, makes you crave carbs & suddenly you’re screaming at the kids/ the dog/ the other half & you’ve put on half a stone.
TIPS FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S REST
* Try reading or listening to music before bed rather than watching TV (especially thrillers & horror films) & checking your phone or computer. Artificial screens over-stimulate your eyes. Kindle, however, is OK.
* Avoid coffee & caffeinated drinks after lunch. Milky drinks an hour or so before bed can help relax you.
* Stretch after evening exercise classes. A hardcore HiiT session might leave you full of adrenalin & cortisol. A stretch helps relax & calm you down. A yoga class after a hard gym session is another way of de-stressing.
* Don’t eat big meals late at night. If you’re stuffed it’s hard to settle.
* Avoid alcohol. You may fall asleep more easily, but people have poor quality sleep & wake early after boozy sessions.
* Avoid cigarettes. They’re evil!
* Don’t drink pints of any liquid late at night, otherwise you’re up & down to the loo. HRT, vaginal creams or pessaries can help Menopausal women who need to wee more often than they used to.
* Invent your own bedtime routine - like your parents did when you were little. A warm bath, scented candles, stroke the cat…
* Invest in blackout curtains. A dark room is usually best to enhance sleep.
* Make sure your bed, pillows & room are comfortable. Experiment with different bed linens, lavender, eye masks, ear plugs…
* Get checked medically. Sleep apnoea, snoring, restless legs, stress etc can all hinder sleep.
* Nap to get extra rest. Keep it to half hour or so.