In the fast-paced hectic lifestyles we lead today getting those magical 8 hours of sleep a day can be a nightmare to achieve. Like eating healthily or getting enough exercise, we appear to be awash with excuses that our lives are just too busy to warrant us worrying about the minor issues like our long-term health…
Why sleep is good!
With so much going on, stress can wreak havoc on our health and make us feel exhausted before we’ve even made it to lunch. But fear not, sleep is at hand to fight this off! Getting the right amount of shut-eye each night reduces stress levels, making us feel fresh and revitalised (not to mention helping with those wrinkles).
If stress isn’t a deal-breaker, proper sleep has been scientifically proven to help ward off unwanted pounds, fire your mind’s creative furnace and seriously reduce the risk of developing inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and diabetes.
The benefits of bedtime are plain to see, but for those who regularly find themselves restless here are a few tricks that might work better than counting sheep.
Eat your greens and get your body moving!
A well-kept midriff is not the only benefit of maintain a healthy lifestyle! If you’re trying to figure out how to get better sleep then following a well-balanced diet should be top of your priority list.
Try ditching heavy foods that are high in salt, sugar and fat and instead fill your plate with nutritious leafy greens which are packed with folate which will help you fall asleep. Tucking into a hearty lettuce based salad for dinner will not only set you up the right way for a meeting with the sandman, but send you bouncing out of bed the next morning ready to face the day.
Unplug the electronics:
Even if the fate of the world depends on you spending every waking minute of your life glued in front of a phone, laptop or TV, try give up the gadgets for an hour in the run up to bed and see how much quicker you nod off. This is because your brain is attempting to wind down after a hard day at the office, but by staring at a backlit screen you cause it to be fooled into a false state of alertness which will make it take even longer to relax and get ready for sweet slumber.
Get your body moving!
Breaking news – exercise makes you tired! It also helps you get more of that top quality sleep with as little as 20-30 minutes a day of moderate exercise keeping you in good shape, and preventing those restless nights of twisting and turning before giving up and playing Flappy Bird (although that is likely to create even more stress!). Go for a nice walk, a jog, chuck a Frisbee around – anything that gets your heart pumping!
So there you are – follow the above tips and you’ll nod off faster than a narcoleptic Koala. After all, sleep is the stuff of dreams!