When it comes to living our best (and healthy) life, getting in those sweat sessions and fueling our body with quality foods is vital. But most people forget about the easiest, and probably the most important pillar of health, ZZZZZZZ.....
That’s right, SLEEP! Something so easy and calming to do (you literally have to close your eyes and relax), yet usually the first thing to get neglected when life gets busy and work becomes stressful.
But we’re here to tell you that good quality sleep should never be sacrificed. It is fundamental for your health. A time where your body is actually working hard rather than simply being at rest.
During sleep, your body takes the time to rebuild the muscles that have been worn down during the day and cleanses away the harmful toxins that are produced on the daily.
Heck that's not all...your mind also processes and responds to important emotions and experiences from the day and stores them to memory. Your emotions are regulated in this time, as well as your immune function and metabolism.
7-9 hours of quality sleep will boost your cognitive performance, drive productivity and foster creativity. So with so many benefits for your health and wellness, why aren't people getting their quality dose of sleep?
Most people, especially in this day and age, find it hard to "switch off" from their work and social lives. Flashback 20 years ago and there were no emails and social media accounts to be checked when you got home. Back then, you simply got home from work and that was it...now days, we get home and it's straight to the computer or phone.
We are so over-wired and over-connected to everything, that we struggle to drift off when it comes to hitting the hay. If you fall victim to this, don't sweat it girl, because switching off is easier said than done.
So what are the things that need to be done to improve the quality of your Zzzzzz.
The secret here is creating a sleep ritual, and sticking to it! By practicing a regular routine, your body will begin to become accustomed to it and will soon find dozing off so much easier.
Below are a few handy tips that can be added to your sleep ritual.
1. Slip on a sleep mask to block out the light.
2. Avoid caffeine and sugar at least 2 hours before bed. These two substances boost up cortisol levels which is the body’s main stress hormone. Phase 1 of the FitazFk challenge is a great way to dramatically decrease cortisol levels!
3. Have a cuppa - herbal remedies are the bomb!
4. Discover your scent of sleep - smells like lavender or a nice scented candle have a naturally calming affect that can help you unwind.
5. Keep a journal beside your bed and reflect on your day for a more restful night.
6. Hide your clocks - avoid checking the time, especially if you wake up during the night. If for example you wake up at 3am and then realise you need to be up in 3 hours, this can set your mind into overdrive and even bring on anxiety as you try to get back to sleep.
7. Read a “real” book rather than being glued to your phone. Flight mode on!
8. Switch off - literally, turn off your phone, tv, tablet – any electronic device at least an hour before you go to bed. The blue light emitted by our electronics stimulates the brain and reduces your melatonin levels which reduces the chance of falling asleep. Melatonin is the good stuff, it's the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle.
The best thing you can do is make the last hour of your day tech free, and ban electronics from your room entirely! Just like the saying goes, your bed should only be used for two things...
So next time you're about to hit the hay, keep these helpful hints in mind and you will find that the quality of your sleep will become so much fkn better!