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Sleep – How to do it better part 2

Sleeping – we all do it and we all have to do it. Some people glamourise a lack of sleep, but they’re missing the point if we’re talking about health and fitness.

If you missed part 1 of our guide to getting better sleep, then go here

The vast majority of people are at home at the moment, and we could be here for a few more weeks at the very least.  Some people have embraced this and are functioning well but some people have started to slip, things are getting harder and they don’t really know how to wrestle themselves back on track.  The lack of externally imposed routine has given some people too much freedom and they’re struggling unnecessarily.

Since everyone has to sleep at some point, we might as well give you some tips on how to sleep well and how to build some better habits around sleep so that you can either start to get back on track, or stay on track.

  1. Stay social – we know that meeting up with people is out of the question, but there are multiple ways you can stay in touch with family and friends to help your mental health and well-being.
  2. Be smart with what you eat and drink – large meals sitting heavy in your stomach can stop you from sleeping well, so try give yourself time to digest your food before going to bed.  Drinking alcohol can disrupt your normal sleep cycles and make you feel like you haven’t slept even though you’ve been asleep for the normal amount of time.  Caffeine consumption too close to bedtime (this will vary from person to person) can make falling asleep feel impossible, so keep your coffee early in the day if you know you’re sensitive to its effects.
  3. Turn the screen off – more and more research is coming out that shows that phones, tablets, laptops and TVs sending blue light into our eyes later in the day signals our body that it is daytime and so make sleep harder to come by.  Leave the screens alone for at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep and make sure that your phone, laptop and tablet have ‘Night Shift’ enabled or some other blue light filtering programme installed to change the colours in the display after a certain time of day.
  4. Take control – if you’re lying awake in bed for long periods of time, no one is benefitting, so make sure you go to bed when you are sleepy and if you cannot sleep then try getting up and doing something non-stimulating, like reading a novel, before trying to close your eyes again.
  5. Know that you’re not alone in this – during periods when your lifestyle stress levels are high, such as busy times at work or during quarantine, your body may struggle to let you sleep well.  If this is the case then lower your exercise intensity and maybe look up some breathing and meditation drills to help get your stress levels under control.  Friends and family may be able to support you, and there are always professionals available if things are truly getting on top of you.

If these tips help you improve your sleeping then please reach out and let us know!

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