The Importance of Sleep
With the recent heatwave we have been noticing lots of sleep related problems. The quality of your sleep plays an essential part in health both physical and mental. During sleep your brain interacts with chemicals called neurotransmitters that take you through various stages of sleep. These are entirely designed to preserve energy thus allowing the bodies repair mechanisms to work. You breathe more slowly, your heart rate reduces, and you cool down by as much as 10%. Slowly you both physically and mentally relax in readiness for the next day. There are many factors that affect sleep from heat, stress, caffeine, exercise, diet, age and health but regardless there are some changes you can make to improve yours. Here are our 3 top tips.
1, Routine – have a regular bedtime and wake up at roughly the same time (even during the weekend). Shifting times throughout the week adjusts the way our body functions and can have the same effect as jet lag. Modern technology allows us to do this with Apps such as sleep cycle, or routine reminder apps such as Calm.
2, Comfort – make sure you find a good position and adjust the bed and pillows around you. The gap between your head and the bed should be maintained by your pillow to ensure it is in roughly the same position as it would be when standing. Good posture in bed can help prevent headaches, lower back pain and general aches and pains. Also think about your covers, if it’s hot use a sheet / too cold use a thicker duvet.
3, Light – Natural light is the best alarm clock. It allows your body to ‘wake up’. Blue light from our portable devises is known to affect sleep adversely so put your phone down and have a good night’s sleep.