Sleep to keep your New Year’s resolutions
“If you want to keep your new year’s resolutions this year, your first step would be to take a look at your sleep routine” says Dave Gibson BSC, Warren Evans’ expert Sleep Advisor.
“The part of our body which needs sleep to function properly is our brain. Our short-term memory, our ability to plan and to make decisions and rational judgments are all affected by lack of sleep.
“Our weight, appetite and fat storage tend to be changed too, and people will often experience an increase in blood pressure with lack of sleep – something to think about, especially if weight loss is on the agenda in 2015.
“Considering all of this, you are much more likely to keep your new year’s resolutions when your brain function is at its optimum and your energy levels are good.”
Here are Dave Gibson’s five top tips to help you to improve your quality of sleep:
- Routine is key – go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Keeping to a routine helps your biological clock. Taking long afternoon naps can interfere with night-time sleep patterns so if you need a nap, don't take longer than 30 minutes.
- Invest in a good mattress – People with uncomfortable beds, which can cause muscular aches and back pain, sleep on average one hour less each night, the Sleep Assessment & Advisory Service in Edinburgh has found. Deep sleep does not start until after the first 90 minutes of rest, so if you wake up every 2 hours due to a poor quality mattress, you are not getting enough deep sleep.
- Look at your sleep environment – Think ‘cave’ – dark and cool. You need a bedroom with a balanced temperature. A room that is too hot will prevent you from sleeping but equally, a room that is too cold affects sleep. Your body temperature naturally falls during the 2nd stage of sleep, reaching its lowest point about four hours after the onset of sleep. If the room gets too cold (below 12 degrees C) you may wake up.
- Avoid stimulants late in the day – No caffeine after 3pm for coffee drinkers. This will not only reduce stimulus to the brain, but also allow you to replenish your body fluids during the evening.
- Eliminate Blue Light – Don’t work late especially on computers or watch late night TV as the screens emit blue light. Blue light regulates our secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Exposed to blue light, we limit the production of melatonin and, we stay alert and awake. In the absence of blue light, melatonin production increases and, we get sleepy..
Dave has been practising as a Naturopath and Osteopath for more than 12 years in London. He has worked on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing as their osteopath and provides naturopathic advice across a wide range of conditions including sleep.
Warren Evans currently have some deals on their range of quality mattresses – check out www.warrenevans.com.