You wouldn’t leave your car engine running all night and still expect it to start in the morning, so why should we treat our bodies any differently? While our bodies are amazing and capable of incredible things, we can’t run on empty, so it’s imperative that we give our bodies the rest and repair they need every single night.
Lack of sleep can affect everything from your mood and alertness, right through to your appetite and digestion. Yep, a lack of sleep can actually slow the body’s metabolism down, prompting the body to store fat instead of expend it, it can alter your bodies hunger hormones, increasing your appetite and it can also increase cravings for high salt high sugar foods. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Here are 4 ways to maintain a healthy sleep routine:
1. Tech free zone
Having one last scroll through instagram before bed might seem harmless in theory, but mobiles, laptops and iPads emit electromagnetic radiation, which can disrupt and delay the quality of your sleep. Keep tech devices out of the bedroom and try and limit screen time at least two hours before you hit lights out.
2. Create a PM routine
Maintaining a regular bedtime each night will help your body slip into a regular circadian rhythm (a fancy name for your body clock). Furthermore, creating some night time habits like dimming the lights two hours before bed and having a warm shower will help wind your body down.
3. Limit food and drink
Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption in the afternoon to avoid an excess of toxins in the body before bed. In theory, a nightcap might initially help you fall asleep, but it will interrupt the quality and usually results in broken sleep. Similarly, try and finish eating at least two hours prior to bed as the digestive process can interrupt sleep.
4. Regulate temperature
As tempting as it is to fall into a piping hot shower before you hit the hay, warming the body will actually end up keeping it awake. When your temperature cools down, it slows our metabolic rate right down, making everything we do that little bit harder and slower – perfect to lull you to sleep!