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  • Daniel Quinones

We need to get serious about our sleep.

A good night's sleep just might be the ultimate 'reset' button. Optimal sleep is vital for brain function as well as many physiological processes. Approximately 30% of people in the UK claim to suffer with poor sleep.

Short-term disrupted sleep can result in: stress, pain, reduced quality of life, mood disorders, poor recovery from exercise and reduced cognitive performance.

Long-term disrupted sleep can result in: high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, weight-gain, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Sleep disruption common offenders:

  • Electronic devices

  • Concerns over work, school, health, loved ones or finances

  • Travel or work schedule. Shift workers have an increased risk of accidents, diabetes, weight gain, heart disease, stroke and cancer

  • Eating too much before bed

  • Nocturnal hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar waking you in the evening

  • Alcohol

  • Too much caffein

  • Being a parent of young children

  • Not being exposed to daylight during the day can disrupt your circadian rhythm

Ways to improve our sleep quality

  • Discontinue the use of electronic devices 2 hours prior to sleep. Electronic devices emit a blue light which can potentially disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. It does this by mimicking the blue-light that we normally receive from day-light which may result in decreased melatonin production.

  • Incorporate an evening meditation routine. Meditation can activate the parasympathetic nervous system allowing the body to enter a relaxed state.

  • If waking due to low blood sugar, eat a small low-glycemic snack 1hr prior to sleep.

  • Avoid large meals prior to bed.

  • Ensure your room is dark or use black-out curtains.

  • Try incorporating an epsom salt bath in the evening.

  • Make sure to get some day-light exposure during the day to help regulate your circadian rhythm.

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