Both the quality and quantity of sleep we get are important. Whilst we are asleep our bodies complete important phases needed for muscle repair, energy revival, memory consolidation and releasing hormones. An adult is recommended to get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. There are many factors that can disrupt or enhance our sleep cycle. The following tips may help to produce a better nights sleep.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks after 4pm in the afternoon. Caffeine found in coffee, tea, chocolate, cola and sports drinks is a stimulant and can effect your sleep cycle.
- Avoid using electronics in the hour before sleep. Computers, TV's and mobile devices emit blue light, which when viewed at night can disrupt your sleep patterns
- Establish a routine in the hour before going to sleep that relaxes you such as yoga, reading or meditation.
- Listen to relaxing music.
- Take a warm bath or shower to relax tired muscles.
- Drink a cup of chamomile tea to relax you as it has natural sedative properties.
- Go to sleep in a dark room, Melatonin the sleep hormone which induces sleep is triggered by darkness.
- Establish a regular exercise routine, but don't exercise with high intensity exercise before sleep as it can make it more difficult to sleep.
- Ensure you expose yourself to daylight during the day which will boost your ability to sleep at night.
Sources and references used:
Courtney, H; Langley, S; Zeal, G. (2011). 500 of the most important health tips You'll ever need.
London: CICO Books. p. 246- 250.
Harvard Health Publications. (2012). Blue light has a dark side.
Available at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side
(Accessed 27th November 2016).
Myhill, S. (2014). Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
London:Hammersmith Health Books. p.87-91.