• FitFirst Training

Please put me to bed!😴😴😴

Sleep - when you're a kid, you fight going to bed at 19:00... when you're an adult, you WISH someone would put you to bed earlier! One of the ironies in life, isn't it???

Most of us, unfortunately, don’t get enough rest and sleep. We get caught up in the business of life, work, family etc etc. But it's important to prioritize sleep because it has so many positive effects on your mental and physical health.

During this lockdown, remind yourself of these:

1. Sleep repairs the body- while you sleep your body is busy producing extra protein molecules which build new cells and repair ones that have been damaged. This strengthens your body’s ability to fight infection. Lack of sleep has been known to activate inflammation and cell damage.

2. Sleep reduces stress- Good sleep lowers blood pressure and cortisol levels in the body, of which if not looked after can lead to various health complications. Sleep will help combat this.

3. Sleep helps with weight control- Sleep regulates the hormones that control your appetite and a lack of sleep causes an imbalance when it comes to this- a hormone called ‘ghrelin’ gets released which stimulates hunger. A lack of sleep also slows down your metabolism which can lead to weight gain over time.

4. Sleep enhances your mood- It affects the way we feel and the way we interact with others. If we don’t sleep we get moody and end up feeling irritable. I think more than half of us can relate to this! More sleep leads to us feeling more fresh and ready to take on the day. Studies have shown that limited sleep can lead to mood disorders like depression and anxiety. So we suggest treating sleep like you would your most valuable possession.

5. Good Sleep can maximize athletic performance- Longer sleep has been shown to improve speed, accuracy, reaction times, and mental well being. Lack of sleep can lead to slow walking, lower grip strength and difficulty performing independent activities.

Don’t worry, for those that do struggle to get enough sleep, here are some solutions you can look at to implement in your life.

✅Turn off technology and bright lights from about 9pm, these affect the pineal gland, the part of the brain that produces melatonin ‘sleep hormone’.

✅Switch off your Smartphone after dinner, because they are brightly lit and full of distractions.

✅Aim to have dinner finished by about 19h30-20h00 to give your body time to digest the food you have eaten.

✅Try keeping your work and sleeping space separate.

✅Try avoiding caffeine drinks like coffee, black tea’s, sugar drinks after 15h00.

✅Try and get time in the sun to soak up that Vitamin-D as this releases melatonin.

✅One can also enjoy a nice hot cup of chamomile tea due to its soothing properties.

✅You can also take a magnesium supplement before bed due to this having sleeping aid properties.

✅Also try reducing sugar and Alcohol (not wine, because we love wine, haha).