In these busy times the fist thing to go is usually your sleep time as our schedule gets tougher as we struggle to fit everything in we either go to bed later or get up earlier.
Lack of sleep can literally kill you. It has a profound impact on your organs, your mind and your general wellbeing. You may think that surviving on 6 hours or less a night is not affecting you but studies have shown it really does. 99% of the population need at least 7 hours. only 1% have been shown to have a syndrome called “short sleepers” . So stop kidding ourselves it is time to take our sleep more seriously.
- THINKING SMARTER sleeping foe 8 hours can greatly improve cognitive function helping you to problem solve and focus better. Sleeping 6 hours or less can greatly impair our ability in thinking smartly and decision making. Studies have shown that brain function reduces by 60% after 5 consecutive nights of 6 hours or less sleep . Chronic sleep deprivation can cause permanent brain cell loss in the grey matter.
- WEIGHT LOSS. Trying to lose weight ? Sleep more . It is obvious that you cannot eat when you are asleep !! But when you are fatigued we tend to reach for the carbohydrates or calorie laden food. Sleep deprivation messes with our hormones. The hunger hormone GHRELIN boosts appetite levels and food cravings. Lack of sleep causes our metabolism to slow so your body can’t clear fat from the cells which means it is stores more. Also when you are feeling sluccish and lethargic you are less likely to exercise.
- SKIN.. Lack (of sleep) = slack (skin). Put simply , less sleep means more cortisol is produced. Cortisol is a skin wrecker , it exacerbates any skin inflammation like psoriasis, eczema and acne. In addition cortisol breaks down collagen and hyaluronic acid leading to lines and wrinkles and making skin less plumper and glowy. We spend a fortune on expensive creams to counteract these qualities when you can counteract this just by more sleep ! AND it is free! Our bodies use the time to rebalance and remoisterise. We all know dry skin can lead to those puffy eys and dread under eye circles !
- RELATIONSHIP are greatly enhanced through better mood and increased sexiness. In an Oxford Economics study in 2017 it was discovered that the single biggest factor to happiness and living well was not money, sex, friends but ………getting more sleep ! Sleep deprivation obviously will affect your sex drive and your desire to be intimate Back to those pesky hormones your body when asleep produces testosterone which in turn affects your sex drive if not enough levels are being produced. Not to mention what lack of sleep does to your looks and attractiveness levels to your partner >
- HARMONIOUS HORMONE CYCLE. As we have seen no sleep can play havoc with your hormones.So sleep is vital to hormone health. But if you are finding it hard to get to sleep post pregnancy, peri menopausal or menopause then your hormones my need adjusting. Speak with your GP for HRT or help with some proven sleep techniques such as meditation, controlled breathing herbal remedies. But difficulty sleeping can alert you to hormone imbalances and a simple blood test maybe able to rectify this. Never rely on sleeping pills this can lead to permanent sleep disturbances and lead to even bigger problems.
HOW TO GET MORE SLEEP
- PRIORITISE SLEEP. Make it non negotiable. Don’t think of sleep as a luxury it really is necessary to your wellbeing. Do not let your social/work life get in the way of your sleep time. Household chores can wait. The rest of the film can be recorded to watch another time. Make sleep the MOST important thing in your schedule.
- RETHINK YOUR SLEEPING PARTNER. Snoring, fidgeting can all impact on your sleep. Many couples now sleep in separate rooms to get a better quality of sleep. I personally could not sleep with someone next to me I am such a light sleeper. Interestingly it seems that we get a much better quality of sleep with our dogs curled up next to us.
- BEDTIME ROUTINE. As we do with our children we as adults need our own wind down routine. Cleansing, cleaning teeth. Light a candle. Meditation and reading. No laptops just before bed. No alcohol or eating late this really can mess with your sleep patterns.
- HEALTHY SLEEP ENVIRONMENT. Invest in some blackout curtains. This can really help particularly in the Summer when it gets light so early.Make sure your thermostat is set low for night time 17-18 degrees. Noisy neighbours/ traffic can be a big problem, try a white noise app to block out neighbour noise. White noise has been found to induce sleep. It masks disruptions in audible frequencies.
- CONSISTENT SLEEP-WAKE CYCLE. This fine tunes your body’s circadian rhythm so you go to sleep faster .A regular pattern of sleep is essential. Make sleep a habit. Train your body when to feel tired and when to wake up. Even if you end up staying out late it is still better to wake up at your prescribed time.
- TRY AN APP. There are many free apps to help you fall asleep. Some good ones are Sleepcycle, calm, and I use headspace. Some apps can track your sleep patterns. Many have sleep meditations on them. Just be sure to set the Do Not Disturb function on your phone so you dont get woken by pings and alerts !!
- USE NATURAL SLEEP AIDS. Remember do not resort to sleeping pils. There are many natural aids like Chamomile tea, ayurvedic golden milk, lavender pillow sprays, natrasleep with valerian root a herbal aid to get you to sleep. It works.
- MAKE YOURSELF TIRED. Expend more energy. Exercise more. Get out into the daylight to reset your body clock. Are you doing enough in the day. Or maybe you are doing too much and your head is buzzing. Keep a notepad by your bed to write down thoughts or a things to do list. But just get it out of your head and onto paper.
MWAH MWAH XX
JOJOS STYLELIST TIP:SLEEP IS MY FAVOURITE THING ! I TOTALLY EMPATHISE WITH PEOPLE THAT HAVE DIFFICULTY SLEEPING. I REALLY HOPE YOU FIND SOME SOLACE IN THIS ARTICLE AND REAP THE REWARDS. SLEEP YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS.