5 tips to get a good night's sleep
If you want to be at your best, try getting a good night's sleep. I know myself, if I don't sleep well it impacts my day on so many levels - my mood, what I eat, my interaction with others, my ability to focus and my self-talk.
We need good quality sleep because our brains go through a biological repair when we sleep. Here are our top 5 tips for getting a good night's sleep.
Don't snuggle up with a screen! Seriously, this is possibly the worst thing you can do before you sleep. Why? Your brain reacts to the blue light of the screen and remains wired, thinking it's still time play! Not only this, you only have to have your mobile by your bed for your brain to register there is something happening so it stays alert. If you use your mobile as an alarm, buy an alarm clock and charge the mobile outside of the room.
Stop eating early and stop the late night snacking. When we eat close to bedtime, it switches off the biological repair systems so energy can be used for digestion. Try not to eat much after the sun goes down and just sip on water.
Drink your caffeine before 12pm. Caffeine stays in your bloodstream for a good 6 hours, depending on how strong you like your coffee. Remember, caffeine is also in tea, chai, soft drinks and chocolate.
Have a bedtime routine. Your brain wants to start winding down when the sun goes down to produce melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep. Staying off the screens at least half an hour before bed, doing some deep breathing, having a bath or reading a book are good wind-down activities that will help you relax.
Exercise and movement during the day will release feel-good chemicals in your body called endorphins. Exercise also releases other chemical important for mood and motivation. Gentle exercise, such a yoga or pilates is good to relax your body, but strenuous exercise is best done during the day as can impact your ability to get to sleep if done at nighttime.