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Sleep deprivation has been linked to increased inflammation, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, reduced memory and increased risk of being overweight. It has a knock on effect on other lifestyle choices too. If you’re not getting enough sleep you are more likely to crave sugary foods and caffeine and you’re less likely to want to exercise.

Our Body clock is what tells the body it’s time for sleep. We are designed to wake up with the morning light and then go to bed when the sun sets. In modern day society we override this natural cycle with artificial light from lightbulbs and blue light from technology. This can trick our mind into thinking that it’s still day time and therefore when we lay our head down a few minutes after scrolling social media, it’s no wonder we can’t fall asleep. Our body clock is telling our body that a few minutes ago it was still the middle of the day. Our body has not produced the right chemicals to prepare it for sleep which is melatonin.

To boost melatonin production and therefore prepare our body for sleep there are some activities that have shown to be productive such as having a warm bath, practicing mindful breathing, reading a book, having low level lighting, wearing blue blocking glasses, turning off technology 90 minutes before sleep. Anything that will calm the body and mind.

Activities that won’t calm the mind down is exercise too near to bedtime, drinking caffeine, drinking alcohol, stressful events, blue light or bright light admitted from screens (mobile phones, tablets, television, laptops) .

If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes it’s advisable to get up and do something to bring on sleepy head.

It’s been shown that getting natural light first thing in the morning can set our body clock, which means we are much more likely to fall asleep easier at night.

Benefits of Good Sleep

  • The body repairs and heals
  • Increased energy
  • Improved concentration
  • Able to make better food choices
  • Improved immune system
  • Better memory
  • Reduced risk of being overweight
  • Reduced stress levels

Some Helpful Tips On How To Improve Your Sleep Quality

  • Remove phones and TV's from your bedroom
  • 90 minutes before bed switch off technology
  • Make the room darker (black out curtains)
  • Eat before 19:30
  • Have a bath
  • Daily routine for sleep

Recommended Reading

The Body Clock Guide to Better Health (New York Henry Holt, 2001)

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