MV/FIT Movement Fitness

It all starts with a good night's sleep

Why is a good night sleep so important for your health? 

When it comes to someone's health, we look at more than just your training. Your nutrition, wellness and overall health are essential tenets in both how far and how fast you will accelerate towards your fitness goals. This is why we take a 360 degree approach and really focus on the whole picture when it comes to working with you and achieving your goals.    

When we look at wellness as a whole - the topics that spring to mind are sleep, mental wellbeing, work/life balance, nutrition and managing stress to name just a few.    

With this in mind, we thought it would be a timely reminder to get in some good sleep habits pre-Christmas and discuss the benefits and how to go about improving your sleep. 

Read below to find out more...  

Sleep is crucial in so many facets of life. Most things can be improved with good quality sleep. None more so than your general health and wellbeing.  

This is why I wanted to highlight the importance of a good night's sleep and what quick and easy steps you could take to improve your sleep.     

Why is a good night sleep so important for your health? 

  • Increases brain performance  
  • Boosts productivity & concentration Improves recovery from exercise  This enhances your results in the gym
  • Reduces your risk of developing some diseases and disorders - including but not limited to: heart disease, stroke, obesity & dementia In fact, less than 7 hours of sleep per night has been correlated to greater all-cause mortality 
  • Can contribute to maintaining a healthy weight - poor sleep affects sugar metabolism and hunger hormones 
  • Supports a healthy immune system - you can fight off colds and other illnesses more effectively
  • Can affect your mental health - poor sleep has been linked to depression & anxiety

So, how can you improve your sleep and reduce the likelihood of developing issues that can arrive from poor sleep?    

The number one thing you can do to improve your sleep is to standardise your wake and sleep times (*as much as possible). This is the first and most important tip as it regulates your circadian rhythm. The key thing here is to wake up at the same time each day, or within 60 minutes of your standard wake time.     

*Now this isn't always possible for new parents or shift workers, however you can still get back into a better rhythm when you can around your baby or shift pattern.    

After this, implement some or all of the below tips to further enhance your sleep and improve your sleep quality.     

My top sleep tips:  

Sleep in a pitch black bedroom   

Light has been consistently shown to disrupt your production of melatonin - this is the hormone which helps induce sleep. So by reducing or eliminating light in the bedroom, this can dramatically increase your chance of a deeper and more restorative night's sleep. I strongly recommend black out blinds.    

Remove or turn off electronics in the bedroom   

Electrical devices such as mobile phones or TV screens emit blue light. This blue light has been consistently shown to disrupt and affect your sleep. By mindlessly scrolling or watching TV before bed, this not only stimulates your brain but it also disrupts the production of melatonin which can help you fall asleep.    

So by reducing your exposure before your sleep - the sweet spot tends to be 1-2 hours before bed - you are more likely to have a deeper sleep. As an example, if you want to go to bed by 10pm, ideally switch off your electrical devices a minimum of one hour before bed and see how much your sleep improves!    

*In case you work late into the evenings, I recommend both downloading the flux app and buying blue light blocking glasses. This helps mitigate some of the blue light from your screens and lights on and can help reduce eye strain and improve your sleep.    

I would recommend still having 1-2 hours before bed not doing work if possible. You will sleep better for it.    

Sleep in a cool bedroom   

Your body likes sleeping at cooler temperatures. To minimise the chance of you waking up being hot, open your window and make sure your room is nice and cool before going to bed. This will really improve your sleep quality.    

Stretch, relax & be mindful   

Stretching and meditation are hugely beneficial for calming your mind and reducing stress before sleep. 

Bonus tip: listen to classical music for 1 hour before bed.    

Additional help

If your sleep is disrupted due to your little ones, we can help. We've partnered with Winchester based paediatric sleep consultant - The Sleepy Avocado. Jess is a certified sleep consultant who can help with sleep from newborn to age 10. She has also kindly given us 20% off any of her services with discount code MVFIT. 

If you have found these sleep tips valuable, please share the blog. If you would like an initial conversation with us, please get in touch via our GET STARTED page. 

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