We all need it, most of us need more of it, yet why aren’t we prioritizing getting more? A restful night of sleep helps to reduce stress, inflammation and makes a person more alert. It’s the time for our bodies to recharge and heal the stresses of daily life. As a physio, I’m always telling clients to get more sleep but sometimes it can be hard to actually do.
Those looking to increase the length and quality of their sleep typically need to make a couple of small lifestyle changes to achieve this goal. This week, we’re going to look at simple steps to take to improve your sleep and enjoy a healthier life.
Stick to a Schedule
Our bodies love a schedule – especially when it comes to sleep. Get into a routine with your sleep of going to bed at a set time each night. Quickly, your body will get used to the routine and you’ll find yourself becoming tired at the appointed time. It’s good to stay in this habit at weekends too.
Relax Before Bed
Used to browsing your phone or gaming before bed? Cutting out this behavior will have a huge impact on the quality of your sleep. The bright glare of a screen fools our bodies into thinking it’s not time for bed. Enjoying an hour free from the screen before bed time will enable you to quickly fall asleep. One way to help achieve this is to leave your cellphone in the living room, far out of reach.
Be Careful with Caffeine
There’s no need to completely cut out caffeine to improve your sleep. Instead, moderate your usage and avoid indulging after lunchtime. While we may not feel the effects, caffeine remains in our system for hours after a cup of coffee. Evening caffeine drinkers are running the risk of a restless night.
A tired body is one that will drift peacefully off to sleep. Integrating regular exercise into your daily routine will improve many aspects of your life, especially your sleep. Some clients I’ve spoke to find great benefit in attending an evening yoga class to clear their mind and prepare them for a restful night.
Avoid Heavy Late-Night Meals
When we eat a large or protein rich meal our bodies have to work hard to digest it. Sleeping doesn’t come easy when our bodies are working hard. Avoiding large meals for two to three hours before bed ensures our digestive system isn’t the thing keeping us up at night.
Sleep in a Comfy Bed
Is your mattress comfortable? When was the last time you bought new pillows? Do an audit of your bedding to ensure everything is comfortable and supportive of a good night’s sleep. Mattresses have a life expectancy of a maximum of ten years. If your mattress is older, you’re risking injury by sleeping on it.
Ready to Help
Whether you need help with injury, or are looking to put together a killer workout program, VanCity Physio is standing by to assist. To find out more, or book an appointment, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.