At times in life, due to our busy schedules, we do not even realise that we are not getting enough rest. Getting enough sleep every night is very important, just as important as exercise and eating the correct nutrition. We all think that when we want to get healthy that the gym is the answer.
Yet, joining or going to the gym is only part of the solution to getting yourself feeling fit and healthy. So I would like to talk to you about the lack of sleep today and why it is important to get enough rest every night for good health.
Not getting adequate sleep or little sleep can affect your health in ways such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, weight gain, your heart rate, reaction times, learning and cause a lot of other health problems.
6 Benefits of getting enough rest every night
- Can protect you from heart disease
- Can improve Concentration and Productivity
- Can improve your performance
- Can benefit your physical and mental health
- Can improve your immune system
Why do we not think of sleep as a health benefit
When we think about living a healthier life, we think that it is to do with what we eat and what physical activity we form. That is correct, but things like getting enough time in your bed are essential too. Poor sleep, sometimes related to other underlying health issues, can affect us from day to day.
We do know that we need enough rest, but sometimes depending on the schedule of looking after the family, children, working hours, all these things can affect us not getting enough sleep. Apart from these, we have other distractions such as watching TV, being on social apps, playing games. All these things can affect or stop us from getting enough sleep.
In the UK, adults require between 6 to 9 hours of sleep a night to feel at their optimum. Lack of sleep can affect how you perform your duties during the busy day ahead. Getting a good night’s sleep will help you mentally and physically during your busy day.
The importance of sleep for children
As well as getting enough sleep yourself as adults, children need to get enough sleep so that they are feeling active and energetic for a full day at school. It is good to get children into a habit from a young age to get to bed at a certain time every night.
I personally believe that children should be in bed at 10 pm to be up at 7:30 am in the morning to get ready for school. This gives them enough rest to be feeling nice and fresh for a full day at school, learning and studying. It is the simple things like habits of going to bed early every night that will make a big difference in how they grow up and develop in life.
When they say “teach them young”, this statement is so true you have to get into good habits from a young age. There is no bigger example for them to follow than you as parents if you also go to bed early to be up early the next morning to get them ready for school. The children will follow and learn the importance of having a full nights rest.
What can you do to get more rest
Well, before you can get more sleep, you to work out how much sleep you are getting every night at the moment. Then I would target getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night, so determine what time you are going to bed at the moment and when will you have to be up in the morning for work or other commitments.
It is often easier to add in extra sleep before the time you normally go to bed. Look at the things you do daily that are not required and would be better spent in the bed sleeping. How much time is spent on things like watching TV, browsing online, or playing games. I am not saying that you stop doing all these things because you need time to wind down, just as important as sleep.
What I am saying is what if you cut down the time spent on things that are not important to give yourself the extra 10 minutes, 1 hour or whatever you need to reach your target of 8 hours of sleep. Let me tell you something everything is possible. If you really care about your health and well-being, then you will be willing to find the extra time needed to spend in bed.
Make a habit of getting enough time in bed
It is good to make a habit of going to bed at the same time every night, which makes it easier for your body clock to adjust to the sleep schedule. So whatever time you decide to go to bed, try to go at the same time every night. I know it might not be possible sometimes but try to stick to the exact time as much as possible. It will just make it easier for your body to adjust to and get into a habit.
I sometimes know it easier to say or to read something than actually doing it, but if you never try, you will never get to see the benefits it will have on your day-to-day life.
As well as having enough time in bed, you want to make your bedroom a place welcoming you to relax and have a good night’s sleep. It is important that you keep your bedroom free of clutter, have a nice bed and comfortable mattress and pillows. Make it a place you enjoy and love coming to every night to relax and get a good night’s sleep.
Brisk walking can help
I came across this article this week about how walking can help with lack of sleep on Sky News so thought it will be worth sharing. Just a few hours of walking every week can help with the lack of sleep to avoid an early death. We do not realise the number of illnesses linked to a lack of sleep.
If you are fit and able to walk then you should certainly take 2-3 hours out of your week for walking because this can really help you. If you can even do more than 2-3 hours per week then this will be even better for you.
Any sort of exercise makes a difference it does not always have to be about becoming a gym member. If you have children get them involved by taking them on walks with you.
Chronic sleep disorders
Did you know that across the world 10-30% of people suffer from Insomnia that is just incredible. I know this first hand because my mum has suffered from Insomnia for over 12 years now and is on medication to allow her to sleep for few hours every night.
Sleep problems can really take a toll on your health and it can lead to further illnesses being caused over the long term to your physical health. So please do not take the lack of sleep so lightly and get help as soon as you know that you have an issue with sleeping.
To living a healthy and balanced life having a good nights sleep is very important. Getting a good rest the night before can really help you function much better the next day.
See a health care provider
If you are really struggling to sleep every night, it is a good reason to contact your health professional to get help and advice. Before taking any medication, it will be good to look at other methods because the medication is not always the answer.
Maybe making yourself more active daily, such as going for a long walk, going for a jog, joining a local gym, might be a better solution. Physical activity can help with sleep, especially when going to bed and quickly falling asleep but exercise also has many other benefits for your physical and mental health.
Do you need to go to the gym to get physical exercise please read my blog article here
You can read more about the importance of sleep and the science of sleep from the Sleep Foundation website here
You can read this article on the Atlantic website about sleep here
If you would like to read about weight loss read it on my blog post here