11 Sep Keep up with your sleep
Getting enough, good quality sleep is so important for many aspects of our health. Unfortunately, our busy lifestyles often take a toll on our sleep, leaving us feeling deflated and demotivated. Keep reading to find out how fatigue may be affecting you and some ideas on how to improve your rest and recovery.
How much sleep is enough sleep?
Although we are all different, most adults need between 7-9 hours per night. For children and teens this will be even more. It is advised that we should try to avoid napping during the day as this could hinder your chances of getting a decent sleep at night. If you are an older adult and find that a 7-9 hour sleep is near to impossible, maybe napping would in fact be beneficial to boost your daily hours.
Why am I tired all of the time?
There are many reasons why we may feel tired. Some of the more obvious culprits might include:
Too many late nights
Long hours spent at work
A baby keeping you up at night
It is normal that we may feel tired from time to time but prolonged periods of tiredness can be harmful. If the reasons for your tiredness are still unexplained after reading this blog, it may be worth checking in with your GP.
Often the quantity and quality of our sleep is affected by our lifestyle choices. For example, how active we are and what we are eating and drinking.
Why is sleep so important?
We don’t need to be reminded of how great an impact being tired can have on our mood. Having a low mood and low energy levels with stop us from being proactive and making the best decisions for ourselves. Aside from our mood, lack of sleep can have very severe effects on our physical health. In terms of our day to day health progress, poor sleep quality can lead to increased cortisol which is a ‘stress’ hormone. Cortisol can increase appetite and make weight more difficult to shift.
Conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease are far more likely to occur when an individual isn’t getting enough sleep. Thus, poor sleep over a prolonged period could reduce your life expectancy… scary stuff!
So what can we do?
Physical Activity – doing too much or too little can impact your energy levels and sleep quality. Find a balance that works for you and makes you feel happy and healthy.
Alcohol – drinking above the recommended intake of alcohol can severely impact your sleep quality (not to mention other negative health implications)
Caffeine – caffeine will impact everybody differently. Some people could have a coffee and fall to sleep seconds after, others would be bouncing off the walls for the next 7 hours. Listening to your body and how it reacts to caffeine will be a useful tool in improving your rest. If you know you fall into the latter category, maybe avoid caffeine after say 3pm?
Sugar – most of us wouldn’t give our kids sugar before bed time for obvious reasons, so why do we allow ourselves to reach for another square of chocolate just before bed? It’s a fact we all already know!
in general, if you are finding it hard to sleep at night, try avoiding any food and drinks other than water and herbal teas in the few hours before bed.
Take home messages:
Sleep is so important and shouldn’t be viewed as a luxury!
If you feel you can make changes to improve your quality of your rest then it’s worth a shot.
If you feel you have tried everything and your tiredness is unexplained, book in to speak to your GP.
Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to say no to things that may interfere with the rest that you need!
For more advice on sleep visit the NHS website at: http://bit.ly/NHSsleeptips
Or give Sleepio a try: http://bit.ly/sleepioapp
Start your healthy weight loss journey today with Achieve Oxfordshire on our get started page: http://bit.ly/Get-Started-Achieve