With the stress of lockdown and being told to stay at home, it could be very easy to fall into a trap that isn’t conducive of effective sleep. To get the most out of your sleep, you need to have good “sleep hygiene” in order to stay healthy through this period.
Here are two major ways poor sleep hygiene can affect your day to day life:
Sleep is when the body recovers. When your body enters a deep sleep, it enters a state of temporary paralysis. By doing this your body is able to concentrate all it’s efforts on cell growth and recovery. If your sleep hygiene is poor, these processes will be interrupted. Poor sleep hygiene can also cause unwanted weight gain. Not allowing your body to recover correctly and secrete the hormones required for muscle growth can inhibit gains in fitness and health, as well as there being an association between sleep deprivation and increased body fat.
Possibly the most vital area to consider in this uncertain time is taking care of your mental health. Sleep is where we deal with stress and any emotions that we feel. Preventing your body from doing this can lead to you feeling overtired and under equipped to deal with daily stressors. In extreme cases this can lead to anxiety and depression.
“What can I do to make sure I get the most out of my sleep?”
3 Steps to Improved Sleep Hygiene:
1) Create a “Sleep Friendly” Environment
This means sleeping in a room that is dark, cool and comfortable. Somewhere that encourages deep, uninterrupted sleep.
2) Introduce a Sleep Schedule
Target 7-8 hours sleep per night, including at weekends. Turn off electronic devices at least an hour before sleeping. Go to bed and wake up at the same times every day.
3) Reserve Your Bed for Sleep
Being told to stay at home could lead you to spend a lot more time in bed or in your bedroom. Try to avoid it. Ensure time spent in your bed is time spent sleeping. By doing this you’ll train your body to be disciplined and know it’s time to rest and recover when you do get into bed.
– Josh Spencer, Fitness Specialist – Pyramid Performance & Health