We hear this a lot, ‘oh you should get an early night’. I often plan these in my head and then fail to drag myself to bed as early as I’d like. There’s always something to do. Another show to watch, something to clean, work.
Prioritising an early night has so many benefits but in the long lists of to-dos, what is needed can often get lost in the chaos of what’s next. But, burning the midnight oil isn’t always a good idea.
Sometimes we need that gentle nudge to remind us of the positives to getting that early night….
Sleep quality improves
We all know that we should be getting at least eight hours sleep and hitting the hay early works best alongside this. Throughout the night we move from from deep non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep to rapid eye movement (REM), with each cycle around 90-minutes long. We are in our deepest sleep earlier in the night and our lightest as we move towards the morning, so it’s important to catch the start of this cycle.
Sleep helps your immune system
If you’re always fighting off the seasonal bugs then the time you go to bed could be a factor. Any level of prolonged lack of sleep (less than eight hours a night) can interfere with your immune system and make it harder for your body to fight off that cold you can’t seem to shift.
Sleeps improved your mental wellbeing
We all know how great it feels after a good night’s sleep, we feel energised and ready to start the day, positive about what lies ahead. We also know the feeling of that night when we haven’t got as much sleep as we’d like. It can cause grumpiness, a short temper and low energy. So, there is no surprise that there is a direct link between anxiety and sleep. Studies show that those suffering with this and depression are often getting less than six hours, much less than the recommended shut-eye.
Sleep can help keep you slim
Those who get less than seven hours a night are much more prone to putting on weight than those that don’t. Apparently, it’s all to do with reduced levels of leptin in those sleep-deprived – this is what makes you feel full. The bad news is that it also increases the hunger-stimulating hormone, gherlin. So, it’s all a science and not something I actually knew before.
Sleep increases sex drive
There is research out there that suggests a lack of interest in the bedroom is linked with lack of sleep. From the men’s side, disrupted sleep can produce lower testosterone levels, which also has an impact on libido, so get that shut eye.
Stay away from energy drinks
It can be a vicious cycle if you’re not used to getting enough sleep, you turn to caffeine or energy drinks for that short term fix, but this has a negative impact on your sleep quality. Instead, keep hydrated and add an extra hour to your daily sleep initially, increasing every four-five days until you’re getting the recommended shut-eye.
There is also some great support and tips to improving your sleep on Sleep Station‘s website and some helpful tips on how to fall asleep more easily (if you find it hard to switch off at night) at Grit & Glamour Club.
If you are struggling with your mood in general, read 7 quick ways to feel happier and try to action a few this week, it’s a start.