We all know how we feel when we get a good nights sleep. Let’s face it, it’s one of the best feelings in the world – well rested and eager to face the day ahead! But, we equally know just how crummy we feel when we have a poor night – exhausted, unhappy, irritable…the list goes on!
There are already enough challenges with making sure your sleep is effective, but throw a newborn baby in there and you add a whole other level of complexities! Unfortunately, one of the battles faced when you become a new parent is making sure you’re getting enough, good quality sleep. With night feeds, teething, sickness and separation anxiety, there seems to be a never-ending list of ways that your little one can disrupt your sleep.
But we wouldn’t have it any other way as parents, right? I agree, but there are still things we can do to help bolster our sleep to make sure we’re enjoying all the benefits!
What are the benefits of sleep?
Getting a good nights sleep isn’t all about feeling better in the morning, there are a wealth of benefits you may not know about!
- Helps you maintain a healthy weight – if you’re on a health kick, you may have noticed your weight plateau or be struggling to get to where you want to be. If you are, take a look at how well you are sleeping, as this can have a huge impact on your health and fitness journey!
- Helps you to learn and make memories – when you’re asleep, your brain starts to organise and process all the information you’ve absorbed during the day. As this happens, it’s turning short-term memories into long-term ones. This in turn helps you to learn and means that when you wake up, you can often see things more clearly.
- Helps to keep your heart healthy – not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke. When you sleep, your heart rate and blood pressure naturally drop, allowing your heart time to rest and recover.
- Helps to boost your immune system – getting your zzz’s gives your body the time it needs to rest and repair while you’re sick. It supports the proteins and cells of your immune system to detect and destroy any foreign invaders your body might come into contact with, like the common cold.
Ways we can get a better night
I know getting a good nights sleep can be a challenge for some, especially if there any external or health factors involved. But, there are ways that you can boost your chances of heading to the land of nod much easier and for a longer period of time!
- The right sleep tools – I’m talking about the right mattress and the right pillow. You’ll notice a big difference to the overall quality of your sleep if you opt for the best ones for you. That might be investing in a memory foam pillow or making sure that your mattress material is breathable and works for the temperature of your body. Either way, investing in your sleep will be one of the best things you ever do!
- Switch off before bedtime – the next time you start to get ready to go to sleep, take note of the last time you look at your phone screen, this may surprise you! It’s important to switch off your electronic devices long before you go to sleep. This is so your brain can naturally begin to wind down and you can get yourself into a much more relaxed state.
- Take a look at your environment – is your bedroom too hot or cold? Is it too bright? Are there any distractions? Evaluating your sleeping environment is key to making sure you get a better nights sleep. Make sure your room is at an optimal temperature, that it’s as dark as it can be and that there are no distractions.
This World Sleep Day (celebrate with me on Friday 18th March!), do yourself a favour and treat yourself to a better nights sleep!