Why am I not getting enough sleep?
Sleep. Glorious sleep. We all live in a busy society where we are constantly trying to cram more and more into our days. To help us do this we often squeeze the extra time in by not sleeping as long as we need.
This in turn gives us:
- Less productive.
- More likely to crave sweets and low quality carbohydrates for a energy boost.
- Less likely to exercise as we don’t have the energy.
- More emotional.
- Not feeling that fantastic overall.
Ah, one of my favorite pastimes. It’s only in recent years that I’ve really embraced sleep, since delving into looking after myself in a holistic way.
Sleep is sometimes seen as a luxury in today’s society, when there is so much for us to explore, discover and do.
However it’s fundamental to everything. If we don’t sleep enough this is going to affect our nutrition choices, and our movement choices — and not in a positive way!
The ideal times for us to sleep is between 10pm and 6am. This also depends on how much sleep you need! The average person needs between 7–9 hours sleep. Between 10pm and 2pm is the deepest sleep and also the most regenerative; after 2am it becomes more superficial.
One of the biggest benefits of getting to bed for 10pm is that you will find yourself waking up early without an alarm and feeling refreshed (I promise its possible!).
It can be hard to get to bed by 10pm, if you aren’t used to it unless you have prepared your body for sleep.
Try the following tips to help you get the most out of your shut eye time:
+ Wake up early. If you sleep in until 10am, you’re not going to be ready to sleep at 10pm. set your
alarm for 6am and make a commitment to getting up no matter how tired you are, and try to go to bed 15 minutes earlier each time until you hit 10pm. Eventually you will feel the need to go to bed earlier as you’re tired.
+ Minimize your exposure to light before going to bed. This means switching off your tv, laptop, mobile phone for at least 30–60 mins before jumping in between the sheets. All of these activities are stimulating for your brain, which is the opposite of what we want to be doing!
+ make your bedroom a bat cave. Not literally! But having electronics in your bedroom can disrupt your sleep. pop your mobile in airplane mode, and remove electronics from your room. your bedroom should be a relaxing escape from the outside world, not an at-home office. And make sure that your curtains or blinds minimize artificial lights coming through your bedroom window.
+ Watch the sunset daily, and try and expose yourself to 10 minutes of it. Watching the sunset can assist your body in producing melatonin which helps to prepare your body for sleep. Extra points if you can expose yourself to 10 mins of sunrise, as this will help your body support your natural daily cycles it goes through.
Originally published at www.beachfitandwellbeing.com on October 27, 2015.