Men’s Health Week: Focus on…Sleep
Sleep, such an elusive thing! In an ever increasingly connected world, we’re chained to our devices. Those who work in the marketing sector specifically have found their roles evolving from being 9-5 to, in some cases, 24/7 as the world of social media expect instant replies.
Sleep is such an important aspect to our health, personal and working lives that is often overlooked. It is the only time of the day that our bodies get to recharge properly for the next day. It’s just like plugging your phone in to charge when you go to bed. If you don’t get enough quality sleep, you will run out of charge and be useless at some point in the day.
Sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels and ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. I’m sure you’re starting to see a pattern here.
When it comes to sleep, everyone is slightly different in terms of how much sleep they need but generally aim for between 7-9 hours. What is more important though is the quality of sleep you are getting. This is what can make the difference between waking up ready for the day and not wanting to step out of bed!
Here are some guidelines for improving quality of sleep:
- Sleep in a dark room. If possible use blackout curtains or blinds as any light distraction can interfere with sleep quality
- Sleep in a quiet room. If you can, eliminate any background noise that may distract you from sleep. Maybe try using earplugs.
- Don’t watch TV or play on your phone. Set a time to switch off your devices, but also set up night mode on your phone to switch on early evening reduce the amount of blue light emitted. This light causes the brain to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that gives your body the “time to sleep” cues.
- Read a book.
- Use apps such as Calm which have a great range of sleep stories. A perfect way to help you switch off if your mind is thinking of all the things you didn’t get round to doing today and what you need to do tomorrow.
- Have a hot bath or shower before bed can help massively relax body and mind before sleep
- Don’t snooze your alarm. This can keep you feeling sleepy for hours!
I hope you have found my insights useful this week. If you have any top tips for how to get more sleep, or have any questions, drop me a tweet @forgefitnessuk