The importance of sleep

The importance of sleep

We may not always think of it, but our sleep has a huge impact on our health. It’s also important for weight loss. A good night’s sleep helps us make better choices the following day - we feel more energetic and so have more energy to exercise, and we crave less sugary foods which means we’re more likely to eat healthily.

Check out these brilliant tips from Dr Rangan Chatterjee, who believes that sleep is arguably the most undervalued component of health, to help you get a good night’s sleep and reap the benefits! 

No tech 90 

90 minutes before bed, try and switch off all modern technology: tablets, phones and laptops. This reduces the amount of mental and emotional stimulation which often keeps us awake. In addition, the blue-light that comes out of these devices can actually reduce levels of a hormone called melatonin, which is something that we need to help us drop into deep, relaxing sleep. I have seen this tip alone transform the sleep of many patients.

Embrace morning light  

You might not have considered this, but going outside in the morning and exposing yourself to natural light actually helps you sleep better in the evening. It does this by helping you set your body’s daily circadian rhythm.

Caffeine before noon 

Many of us love a cup of tea or coffee, and I’m no exception, but for many of us, caffeine after 12pm can negatively impact our sleep. There is considerable genetic variation in terms of how each of us metabolises caffeine. Many of us can take several hours to fully process the caffeine so it is always worth giving this tip a try to see the impact on your sleep. I have many patients who swear to me that caffeine is not a problem for them until I convince them to try this suggestion. More times than not, their sleep quality improves immediately. Think caffeine is not affecting your sleep? Why not give this tip a go and let me know how you get on!

Create a routine 

It’s not just kids that need a routine! With the hectic lifestyles that most of us now lead, adults benefit from a bed-time routine just as much s kids. Many of us expect to be able to finish off our work e-mails and then immediately go to bed and drop off instantly – this is unrealistic for the majority of us! Taking a relaxing bath, dimming lights or reading a book will all you to get your body prepared so that it can drift off into relaxing and restorative sleep.

A huge thank you to Dr Rangan Chatterjee for sharing this content, check out more from him on sleep here.

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