Everybody leads such busy lives that it can be tricky to relax, and often good quality sleep is sacrificed as we struggle to find more time in the day. But, good quality sleep is crucial and affects just about every part of your body, including appetite, your immune system, cardiovascular health, blood pressure and breathing. While you are asleep, your body produces hormones that help to repair cells, regulating energy use and these hormones can affect your weight. When you don’t receive enough sleep your risk of developing heart disease, infections or struggling with your weight increases. Most adults need approximately 7-8 hours of sleep each night, while young children need 10 hours each night. Teenagers need about 9 hours sleep.
If good quality sleep is elusive, try these tips:
- To ensure you get enough sleep, go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, comfortable and dark.
- Ideally, take the time to relax before bedtime by reading or having a soothing bath, and limit your use of electronics.
- Daily exercise is useful, but avoid exercising just before bedtime.
- Try to avoid stimulants late in the day such as caffeine and alcohol.