Recent reports have identified that a third of the adult population are suffering from insomnia. A third!!!!
Even those of us who consider that we sleep well are often losing around 1-2 hours a night based on what our bodies actually need. Over a week, a month, a year that adds up to A LOT of lost sleep.
Before computers, TV’s, tablets and electricity our body would have taken its natural cue from the sunlight. In the winter we would have naturally slept more than in the summer due to the differing available light. We would have started to ‘power’ down a lot earlier because without light it would have been difficult to continue to work. We would have tended to sit around a fire where the meditative flicker of the flames would have gently calmed us in to a sleepy state. Compare this to now and you can immediately see a huge difference.
This artificial stimulation causes a number of problems, but we are looking specifically at the effect it has on our sleep. When we are getting ready for bed, we need our hormones to produce the sleep-inducing melatonin. By upsetting the timing of this hormone, we start to impact our body’s internal clock. A delay also causes less REM sleep (when was the last time you had a dream!?) and you end up feeling tired, sometimes jet lagged when you wake up.
Less sleep and less REM sleep also means you will crave more sugar and gain weight more easily.
We all know that being tired results in less ability to cope with stress, more reliance on quick fixes and less motivation to exercise.
What a terrible combination!
With all this in mind, here are 5 simple ways to improve your sleep quality:
1. Switch off all screens at 9pm (yes, I seriously just said that – 9pm or at least 1 hour BEFORE bedtime)
2. Remove any WI-FI linked gadgets from your bedroom.
3. Dim your lights from 9pm (use lamps instead if main lights)
4. Go to bed so that you are fully asleep by 11pm (at the latest)
5. Make your room as dark as possible.
Try these for a week and see how much your sleep improves.
You could also try a delicious sleepy tea in the evening. I love the Pukka one!
And for the best bedtime snacks click HERE.