Healthy Tip: Sleep is Essential for Health

It’s World Sleep Day on 17th March and the theme this year is ‘Sleep is Essential for Health’. Poor sleep can negatively impact our heart health, along with many other areas of our physical and mental wellbeing. Prioritising your seven to nine hours shut eye every day is one of the best things you can do to support your health. During sleep, our body gets to work helping us to recover both mentally and physically, which helps us feel energised, alert, and ready for the day. Sleep isn’t something to overlook, so here are some tips for helping to improve your sleep.

Limit caffeine

Who doesn’t love a morning cuppa? Whilst a small amount of caffeine early in the day is unlikely to impact our sleep, caffeine can stay in our blood stream for many hours after consumption. This can negatively impact the quality of our sleep and ability to fall asleep. So, say no to caffeine after lunch!

Turn off the screens

Melatonin is our sleepy hormone, and we need to allow our body to produce lots of it to ensure a good night’s sleep. Bright lights in our environment can reduce the production of melatonin, specifically the blue light from computer screens, tablets, and mobile phones. Try switching off screens an hour before sleep time and read a book or have a bath instead.

Spend time outdoors

Research shows that simply being inside during the day, rather than spending time outdoors, reduces our melatonin production at night by 50%! Grab your trainers and hit the pavement for a walk or run outdoors for at least 20 minutes every day. 

Create a routine

Humans are creatures of habit, and we thrive on routine. Creating a bedtime ritual can help signal to our bodies that it’s time for sleep. Try to choose low stimulation activities like reading, listening to music, or even having a cup of (caffeine free!) tea such as camomile.

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