A recent survey suggests that nearly a quarter of women aged 30-50 survive on less than 5 hours sleep a night. This is mainly due to the busy lifestyles that so many of us lead, so what can we do to make sure we make the most our snoozing time?
Sleep is a crucial part of living a healthy lifestyle, and many of us simply do not get enough. Stress and sleep are inversely related – the less sleep you get the more difficulty you will find in adapting to challenging situations, and the more sleep you have, the less stressful the day will seem.
Sleep can also help you lose weight.
It is possible to lose weight by spending just one extra hour a night in bed! Leptin, is a chemical that is released when we’re sleeping supresses the production of fat cells by curbing your appetite. Leptin helps to control feelings of fullness, but when we get less sleep our Leptin levels are reduced.
Marilyn top tips for getting a good night’s sleep:
- At least an hour before you go to bed write a ‘to do’ list for the next day, so that you do not end up mulling over what needs to be done as you’re trying to fall asleep.
- Sex can help you to get to sleep by relaxing you and releasing tension.
- Try to exercise early in the day. Exercise can be extremely stimulating and some women find it difficult to sleep following a late work out session.
Nutritionist at Nature’s Plus UK, Michela Vagnini, suggests combatting stress before bed…
Many of us experience anxiety and nervous energy, especially after a busy, stressful day and these feelings can feel more prominent at bedtime.
Valerian Root and Chamomile are mild, yet effective, herbs, which have calmative properties. To help you relax and have a peaceful sleep, have a cup of camomile tea, or Valerian tea, before bed to encourage relaxation.
Alternatively, to help calm your nerves and unwind, you can take Nature’s Plus Mega-Stress Complex. This supplement is designed to replace the water-soluble vitamins lost during stress, making it less of a struggle to fall into a deep, refreshing sleep.
Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns explains how we can make the most of our night’s sleep
Magnesium is known as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’.
- Magnesium is needed to relax our muscles, which in turn can help us fall into a peaceful sleep.
- Try and include plenty of magnesium-rich foods in your diet such as, buckweat, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fish and leafy green vegetables.
- Alternatively, to ensure you’re getting enough Magnesium try Quest Vitamins’ Synergistic Magnesium.
- Try and avoid large meals and too much hard-to-digest food for three to four hours before going to bed.
- Hard-to-digest foods include red meat, cheese, nuts and fried foods.
- Avoid sugary foods such as chocolate, sweets and fizzy drinks before bed, as sugar is a stimulant and gives a burst of energy.
- Satisfy your cravings with a snack of a complex carbohydrate food before bed, such as a couple of oatcakes, or some rye crackers with a bit of hummus. This can give a gentle release of energy and helps us to stop us waking up hungry during the night.