Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Combined with healthy eating and exercising, it can benefit your heart, weight, mind and more. Whilst we know the value of sleeping well, in our busy society, many of us are not getting the quality sleep needed to truly receive the health benefits. Often our environments interfere with natural sleep patterns decreasing our sleep quality.
If you, or someone you know, struggles with a good night’s sleep, some of these simple things might help:
As little as 15-minutes of aerobic exercise, such as cycling or walking, can improve the quality of your sleep – especially if done on a regular basis. Try to exercise 3-6 hours before bedtime to get the maximum sleep benefits. If evenings are the only time you can exercise, then make it light exercise.
Avoid activities that are stimulating an hour before bed – watching movies, staring at your mobile phone, and important discussions or discussions. Being in a brightly lit environment or taking in the blue light from a computer or mobile phone, can reduce evening levels of the sleep-promoting hormone, melatonin.
Try to go to bed at the same time each night. Your body has an internal clock and hormones to control sleepiness and wakefulness. This clock works best if there is a regular sleep routine.
The evening meal should be at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. Don’t go to bed on a full stomach. If you find you get hungry before bedtime, try a light snack 45 mins before bedtime.
Keep the hour before bed as your wind down time. Listen to quiet music or do relaxation. We can never shut off our minds completely, and thoughts continue constantly, but try to keep focus on calm thoughts – think of your favourite place, or daydream about your next holiday.
Wanting to increase your exercise routine to assist with sleep?
With over 110 group classes per week, a functional training area and modern change room facilities, experienced Personal Trainers and small group training programs, Southport Sharks Health + Fitness is one of the top fitness centres on the Gold Coast. Find out more, visit SSH+F reception or phone (07) 5591 5800.