Life is busy, that’s a given, but why is it that on our quest to figure out the perfect life equation, the first thing we’re willing to subtract is sleep? While striking a balance between work, workouts and social commitments can be tough, sleep should be the one constant priority in our lives. Think of your body like a machine… You wouldn’t leave your car engine running all night and still expect it to start in the morning, so why should we treat our bodies any differently?
But if that wasn’t incentive enough to get your 8 hours, did you know lack of sleep can significantly hinder your ability to lose weight too? In fact, it significantly increases your ability to store fat too. Sleep plays a big role in everything from appetite and digestion right through to cravings and metabolism. Lack of sleep or poor sleep quality can slow your metabolism right down, prompting the body to store fat instead of expend it. This can also in turn, alter your bodies hunger hormones, signalling false hunger cues and cravings for salty and sweet foods.
Turn off the tech
As tempting as it is to flop into bed and have one last scroll through Instagram, tech devices like your phone, iPad and laptop emit electromagnetic radiation, which can disrupt and delay the quality of your sleep. Try and keep tech devices out of the bedroom, and if that’s not an option, try and at least limit screen time at least two hours before you hit lights out.
Create a PM routine
Maintaining a regular bedtime each night will help your body slip into a regular circadian rhythm (aka body clock). Furthermore, creating some night time habits like dimming the lights two hour before bed and
Limit food and drink
Try and finish eating at least two hours prior to bed as the digestive process can interrupt sleep. Avoiding alcohol and caffeine will also help ensure you clock unbroken sleep. Try sipping on a calming herbal tea instead like peppermint or chamomile.
As tempting as it is to fall into a piping hot shower before you hit the hay, warming the body will actually end up keeping it awake. When your temperature cools down, it slows our metabolic rate right down, making everything we do that little bit harder and slower – perfect to lull you to sleep!