* This is a sponsored post for Happy Beds *
When we think about being healthy, we think of what we eat and how much we move, but sleep is such an important part of that. Not getting enough sleep can affect your hormone levels, make workout recovery more difficult, and encourage unhealthy snacking. Take a look at our tips to get a Healthy Night's Sleep.
Sleep is one of those things that most people want more of, but can never get enough of. We like sleep more than the average person. Without a good night's sleep we can be grumpy for the whole of the next day and it can throw everything else out of sync.
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When life gets busy, the amount of sleep we get is usually the first thing to get neglected (that and the dusting and hoovering - surely that's not just me?), but making an effort to get enough sleep, or as much as we can, and making sure that it's a good night's sleep, can have such a huge impact on our lives. Because of that, we are sharing out top 10 tips on how to get a good night's sleep.
No Phones In Bed
I am not going to say that I am perfect at this, but it's a habit that we are trying to get out of. I am sure a lot of us are guilty of getting in to bed and just checking our emails or Facebook before we settle down and a few scrolls of our timeline later and a couple of IG stories checked, you find yourself on YouTube watching hilarious cat videos that you have seen a hundred times before. However, studies have shown that the light given off by our electronic devices at night time prevents your brain from releasing the hormone melatonin, which tells your body that it is night time and time to sleep.
So, switch your phone and laptop off about an hour before bed. This way, you are likely to get to sleep quicker and have a better night's sleep.
Stick To A Sleep Schedule
I know that life very rarely runs to a schedule and things can get a little bit crazy, but sticking to a sleep schedule and going to bed and getting up at the same time every day can promote a better night's sleep.
Although this is a little bit of a contradiction from the one above, it can really help. If you haven't fallen asleep within 15 minutes of settling down, then get up and do something else (not on your phone) until you are sleepy again and go back to bed. How many times have you laid awake for hours in bed, waiting to fall asleep? If you get up, you will soon be sleepy and then back in bed and happily drifting off to sleep. I usually get up and have a herbal tea, read for a bit, and then go back to bed.
Get A Good Mattress
Your bed is everything when it comes to getting a good night's sleep and the mattress is the most important part of that. If you have springs sticking in your side, lumps and bumps or a massive dip in the middle of it, you will spend half the night trying to get in a position that avoids all of those, and before you know it, it will be time to get up again.
Head over to Happy Beds to take a look at their huge selection of mattresses that will help you to get the best night's sleep possible. You can choose from orthopaedic, memory foam, reflex, pocket spring and so much more. Did you know that you should change your mattress around every 7 years? They have a handy guide on 10 Foods That Help You Get A Quality Sleep too.
Oh how I love a nap! I like to take full advantage of being self employed and try to sneak a nap in where I can. However, it's also important to limit them. During pregnancy, naps are essential, and even not being pregnant naps can make you more productive, but I try to stick to just a 30 minute snooze, as anything any longer than that can interrupt my night time sleep.
Watch Your Food and Drink
Whilst there are some foods (as mentioned above) that will help you to get a good night's sleep, the amount you eat is important too. Don't eat too much before bedtime, otherwise you will be uncomfortable and have digestive issues that will keep you up all night. Also try not to drink too much before bed too, otherwise you will be getting up to go to the toilet (unless you are pregnant and will be getting up 10 times in the night regardless).
Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. They are stimulants and can take hours to wear off and won't get you drift off in to dream-land.
Whilst we can't totally cut out stressful situations from our life, we can do lots of things to reduce the stress we have. When we are stressed, we go to bed thinking about too much and a racing mind can keep you awake for hours. Getting organised can really help. Try making a list before bed of some realistic goals and priorities for the next day, so you don't have to stay up all night worrying about it.
Regular physical activity, around 30-60 minutes a day, can help you to have a better night's sleep in general and help you to fall asleep faster. Get outside for your workout and all that fresh air will be sure to make you feel sleepy. But, don't exercise too close to bed-time as it can actually keep you awake with all the endorphins buzzing around.
Temperature can make a huge difference when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. Having the window open, or a fan on and just a sheet over you can really help with it's hot and making sure you are all snuggly and not shivering through the night can help during the winter months too. Make sure that your room is dark too, as any light distraction can keep you up.
Get A Bedtime Routine
As well as having a set sleeping schedule, having a relaxing bedtime routine can help too. If you are really struggling to get to sleep at night, try having a warm bath to relax, do some breathing exercises and some gentle stretches before you get in to bed.
Read more information and statistics on sleep in our post about Sleep and Mental Health.
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**This Healthy Night's Sleep post was sponsored by Happy Beds, however, all opinions are my own**