Sleep is underrated, especially amongst teens.
Staying up late may give you more hours in the day to play, but it’s not doing your health any good. Not only can it negatively affect your mood, but also your hormones, performance and brain function.
Good sleep is not only beneficial for children, but for adults alike.
There are many of things that can effort your comfort, from your bed to the temperature.
A comfy bed is a must.
Who can sleep on a hard, bumpy mattress anyway?
Whether it’s a zip and link mattress that can be adapted to you and your partners requirements, or a standard, double bed. Make sure you invest in a comfy, good-quality bed for a good nights sleep.
You may not realise it – but the temperature of your room may also be affecting your sleep. It might be nice to sleep in a cold room, so you can curl up… or a hot room so you feel more relaxed.
But not having the right temperature can leaving you tossing, turning and sweating…. or even shivering and trying to keep warm!
As well as comfort in your bed, the rest of your room, unconsciously, can make you feel either relaxed or stressed. For example, if your room is messy with clothes everywhere, boxes, bags and shoes all over the floor, you are going to feel less comfortable.
Why not try the KonMari Method? Declutter your room (and even your entire home to decrease more stress!) and make sure everything is put away. As soon as you walk into your room at night, you’ll instantly feel at peace.
Studies suggest that distinguishing your environments, for example – keeping your bedroom just for sleep (and sex) and your living room for watching TV, will help your brain understand when it’s time to wind down and rest.
Decorating your room with a design of your choice can be a fun way to make the environment a happy, peaceful place to be. Use good storage units to decrease clutter and having a plant or two can really clean up the room and keep it feeling fresh. Contemporary artwork has also been shown to increase wellness throughout your house. Artwork can be adapted to your decor requirements, by opting for something small and simple, or large and colourful.
It’s beneficial to let lots of natural day light in during the day to waken you up for a productive start.
The opposite is required for a good nights sleep. Try not to leave any lights on, as your brain will still think its day time and not reduce the relaxing hormone, melatonine, to help you sleep.
This can be hard in the summer if you work shifts and it’s still light outside. It might be worth investing in black curtains, or window shutters, to block out the light when you are winding down for bed.
Scientists have also recommended to activate the blue light feature in devices (most new smart devices have them) or to use a blight light screen/filter when using devices a few hours prior to bed time.
The negative affects of looking at screens tricks your brain into thinking it’s still day time. This means it will take you longer to settle down and get to sleep.
This might be hard for those hardcore coffee lovers out there, but caffeine can have a huge, negative affect on your sleep which in turn, has a negative affect on your health.
Studies show that caffeine stays in your body for 6-8 hours after consumption.
So, if you keep reaching for that afternoon coffee to keep you going through the day, you might want think about swapping this out for a herbal tea like peppermint, which has no caffeine but you can still sip on a hot drink.
If you do a typical search on whether naps affect your sleep or not, you will find a plethora of conflicting information.
The general consensus seems to be – a short, power nap lasting no longer than 20 minutes – will not affect your sleep at night and has potential benefits, for example, increasing productivity and energy during the day.
However, if you have a nap that lasts longer than 20 minutes and is close to your bed time, then this could affect your ability to fall asleep, or even the quality of sleep by disturbing your bodies sleep pattern.
A good sleeping routine, with a regular bed time is good for your body. It teaches your body to know when to start settling down, and when it’s time for getting up. This will really help if you struggle to fall asleep at night or guilty of snoozing!
Did you know the food you eat, as well as the time you eat it can have a huge affect on your sleep?
These tend to fall under the category of high-sugar, high-carbohydrate and heavily-processed foods. All the foods that probably negatively affect your waist line if not eaten in moderation, too.
Timing is also key. If you eat too far away from bed time, your hungry belly may keep you awake. On the other hand, eating too much right before bed can keep you awake. It will also not digest properly which can cause some serious health problems.
It’s not all negative though. Some foods can help improve sleep. For example, yogurt, a banana, or a small bowl of low-sugar cereal.
Benefits of a good nights sleep
By incorporating these changes into your routine, can have some huge, even instantaneous benefits.
Increase energy levels
With a good nights sleep, you are guaranteed more energy during the day. This results in improved performance, activity and productivity. Everything is heightened, providing you with more motivation and energy to live life and keep fit and well!
Increase brain function
Various brain scans and studies have shown that a lack of sleep can seriously affect brain function. Not just productivity, but slowing reactions, decreasing memory and all-round performance in daily tasks.
Improve skin health and reduce ageing
Studies suggest that when we deprive our bodies of sleep, we produce more of the stress hormone cortisol. This can lead to an increase in skin inflammation, as well as reducing the quality of our skin. This also means more money on paying professional skin clinics money to fix you’re skin, causing more stress about money, and it just becomes a vicious cycle.
And just to add to the mix, depriving your self of sleep increases the ageing processes and decreases your chances of a long, healthy life!
So, with all the positive affects that a good night’s sleep can have, what changes will you be making to your routine?