I LOVE to sleep, but I don’t often get as much as I should as I feel I’m wasting time when I could be working, socialising or just doing bits! It was recently brought to my attention by the team from Bed Guru that losing sleep isn’t doing me the good I thought it was, it’s actually doing the opposite, so they invited me to take part in their #ChooseSleepNow challenge for 30 days.
It’s not just me that sleeps less, actually as a species, we sleep less today than at any point in our existence and a whopping two-thirds of adults fail to meet the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night. I have to admit I am one of those for sure!
Bed Guru asked me some really good questions to think about my sleep pattern and it really got me thinking;
When was the last time you started the day without caffeine? Well, for me being allergic to caffeine this is never but I know it applies to so many people!
How often do you wake up without an alarm clock feeling refreshed? Ermmm, never! We always have weekend plans are rarely wake up withut setting an alarm
And now it’s time to reclaim your right to sleep and we bloody deserve it too! The World Health Organisation has actually declared our attitude towards sleep a global epidemic.
Not getting enough sleep is the single greatest public health challenge that we face… So I was invited to sleep a full 8 hours every night for 30 nights so I could experience the healing power of sleep, and return to my natural state of being. Read on to see how I did and how I’m feeling now!
Sleep is so good for you for a number of reasons, and I was so unaware of so many of them! I tend to think sleep is there for when I just feel tired and for when I’m done with all I need to get done during the day. Boy, was I wrong?!
There’s so much truth in getting your beauty sleep as your body will literally repair itself while you rest. This contributes to you getting fewer wrinkles, to having clearer skin, having brighter, less puffy eyes, to having healthier, fuller hair which I love the idea of and, of course, being in a far happier mood.
When you sleep suffers, so does your mental health and this works both ways too. Poor sleep often coexists with anxiety, depression, and a range of other mental health issues and I am really bad for getting anxious when I’m tired but a good night’s sleep fosters both mental and emotional resilience and helps to promote feelings of calm and balance making you feel a lot better in yourself. “Sleep on it, you’ll feel better in the morning” rings so very true.
Diet, exercise, and sleep go hand in hand as we are often told and often ignore but sleep really is nutrition for the brain and body. If you get a full night’s sleep it tells the hormone, leptin, which makes you feel less hungry and regulates energy to kick in which lowers your reliance on caffeine and aids weight loss.
Sleep is not only linked to fitness, but it’s linked to every aspect of your physical health. There isn’t a cell in your body that doesn’t benefit from sleep so plenty of rest boosts your immune system fighting away those awful colds this time of year, increases fertility and sex drive, helps to prevent diabetes which is something I didn’t know, wards off heart disease, can even help fight against Cancer, lower your blood pressure, increase your balance and coordination and regulates your mood. We all like to be in a good mood, don’t we?
When I wake up early without a full nights sleep I seem to think that I will get more done as I’m not wasting time in bed, but this is totally not true! Sleep and productivity need each other! See if you notice any of the following; better short-term memory, less ‘brain fog’ when working, a greater attention span, less prone to stress, increased problem-solving and having more creative ideas when you’ve had your full 8 hours.
Follow these simple tips and get off to the right start.
1. Go to bed at a similar time every day. That’s 11,30pm for me!
2. Exercise daily, but not right before bed. If I’m not going to the gym I make sure I get out for a walk!
3. Enjoy your caffeine early, not after 2pm. None for me as I’m allergic!!
4. Avoid the night cap. Alcohol actually disrupts sleep. Oppsy, this will be a tough one! I love a glass of wine!
5. Keep your room dark and below 18 degrees. We have blackout curtains and I always have the heating off with the window open a fraction, all year round!
6. Ban electrical devices an hour before bed. I used to do this but I need to get back into the habit!
7. Eat no later than a couple of hours before bed time. Dinner is at 9pm latest so we just get away with this!
And how do I feel after practicing this for 30 Days? Have a little watch and find out!
I honestly feel so much better in myself, and am so glad this challenge got me back down the gym! I need to keep up the things that I have learned as I’ve been more productive, felt less anxious and my skin is so much better than it was before I started. There weren’t things I had expected the challenge to help with either so that was a massive bonus!
Do you get your full 8 hours sleep a night?