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Are you getting enough sleep?

If your sleep is off, the best diet and working out all the time won’t get you the results you’re after. As a more digitally society that is always ‘on’, it’s easy to miss out on the right amount of sleep. It’s easy to not even think about it until you’re exhausted and collapse into bed each day. If you’re getting less than 7 hours of sleep each night, it can reduce or even undo the benefits of your exercise.

Here are some signs that it might be time to start getting to bed earlier and a few tips to help you.

Your mood

It’s not surprising that your sleep and emotional health are linked. People with anxiety and depression are more likely to report chronic insomnia. Even short-term, partial sleep loss can negatively affect your mood, daily outlook, and how you treat people.  

If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re more likely to become cranky, irritable and find it harder to cope with stress. Sleep and stress can become a vicious cycle when anxiety makes it harder to fall asleep, and then lack of sleep makes us more sensitive to the pressures of everyday life.

 

Your productivity

Sleep deprivation can have a bad effect on our ability to reason, focus, and even find the right words to describe simple things. It’s easy to get stuck in ‘work mode’ and think that it is essential to stay up late finishing work projects or preparing for presentations.

But, stopping work in time to wind down and get a good night’s sleep will actually improve your productivity and performance. Look at how you can manage your time so you can get to bed on time.

 

You’re weight

If you’re sleeping less than six hours at night, you can be more likely to be overweight and you might show lower levels of the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin, along with elevated levels of hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin. That means you’re hungrier and don’t register that you should stop eating. There has also been a link found between a lack of sleep and increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

 

You’re appearance

You know what it’s like to see yourself in the mirror after a rough night. Red, puffy eyes, dark under-eye circles, and turned-down corners of the mouth are just some of the more obvious signs. If you multiply that out and have a whole week of reduced sleep then it takes your body a lot longer to recover if at all. Even small amounts of sleep deprivation affect your appearance.

 

Your libido

Fatigue is often a big factor when it comes to why men or women aren’t in the mood for sex. Your work day, caring for children and aging parents or staying out can result in being too exhausted for intimacy. Getting on top of your sleep can make a big difference as it allows your hormones to be regulated and return to normal levels.

Sleep can have a direct impact on testosterone production in men; dropping by 10 to 15 percent. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased tension will cause a drop in your libido so get an early night tonight!

 

You're day

This is fairly obvious but feeling exhausted during the day is a red flag that you aren’t getting enough sleep.

If you’re yawning every five minutes or needing five coffees to prop yourself upright then sleep has definitely become an issue. This can also be a problem if you drive to work as you may become fatigued behind the wheel.

 

Tips

So we’ve determined that you might not be getting enough sleep so how do we fix it? Here are some tips to help you get a better night’s sleep tonight.

 

Set regular bedtimes

Choose a time when you normally feel tired and go to bed at the same time every night. It’s all about getting your body into a natural rhythm. Try not to break your routine on weekends, even when it’s tempting to stay up late.

 

Fight the nap 

It’s easy to feel tired straight after dinner; you’re full, you’re relaxed and you need sleep but if you go to bed too early than you may wake up during the night and not be able to get back to sleep.

Do something mildly stimulating to avoid falling asleep, such as washing the dishes, calling a friend, or getting clothes ready for the next day.

 

Turn off the electronics

Lots of people use the television to relax at the end of the day, or read on their phones and tablets in bed. Not only does the light suppress melatonin production, but what you’re doing can actually stimulate the mind, rather than relaxing it. Try listening to music or audio books instead. If your favourite TV show is on late at night, record it and watch it during the day or on the weekend.

 

Keep it dark

When it’s time to sleep, the darker it is, the better you’ll sleep. Use heavy curtains to block light from windows, Cover electrical displays, or try using a sleep mask to cover your eyes. This will allow you to have a deeper and sounder sleep.

 

Eat light

Try to eat earlier in the evening, and avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours of bed. Your stomach needs to work harder when it’s digesting fatty foods and may keep you up. Have your main meal during the day and something lighter for dinner.

 

Stay out of your head

When everything stops a rush of thoughts come into our heads as we start processing the day we just experienced. Try to postpone worrying and brainstorming because it will be there in the morning.

If you’re anxious about something or have an idea, make a brief note of it on paper and forget about it knowing you’ll be fresh and better equipped to solve the problem or be more productive and creative after a good night’s rest.

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