SLEEP has vital health benefits, including helping the body to function properly. Not getting enough rest at night can make you feel grumpy. But, you can fall asleep fast by making these five diet and lifestyle changes.
Getting enough sleep is important for everyday functions, according to the NHS.
If you don’t get enough sleep, you could wake up feeling groggy or grumpy.
Struggling to get to sleep can be very frustrating. That frustration can turn to stress, which in turn, makes it even more difficult to fall asleep.
About one in three people in the UK don’t get enough sleep, the NHS added.
But, you could fall asleep easier by making these five diet and lifestyle changes, according to a sleep expert.
While it’s fairly common knowledge that drinking coffee before your bedtime could keep you awake at night, did you know that one in the morning may also be impacting your night’s rest?
“Not eating proper food within 30 minutes of waking up leaves your body running on the wrong kind of energy and relying on stress hormones to function,” said Silentnight’s expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan.
“Eating breakfast activates your circadian clock and allows your body to produce the sleep hormone melatonin.
“People who eat a proper breakfast find it less difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, wake up with more energy and are less inclined to hit the snooze button.
“Eating breakfast can also boost your overall mood and reduce feelings of anxiety.”
Almost half of people in the UK sleep on mattresses that were originally bought for someone else, according to Silentnight research.
Just over 20 per cent of people would sleep on the same mattress for 20 years.
Not replacing your mattress can cause a build up of dead skin cells and hair.
It may lead to a bed bug breeding ground, and spread dangerous infections like norovirus and MRSA.
“Regularly change and wash your bedding and invest in a new mattress every seven to eight years to ensure you are sleeping in a clean and healthy environment,” said Ramlakhan.
Watching TV or using your mobile phone before bed could be negatively impacting your sleep.
“The blue light emitted from electronic devices triggers the production of dopamine in the brain, over stimulating your nervous system and suppressing the production of melatonin.
“Cells in the hypothalamus part of the brain then secrete more dopamine, which further wakes you up and make it really difficult for you to drift off when you do want to sleep.”
Try to avoid late night’s during the week, followed by a long lay-in at the weekend, the sleep expert said.
“The hours before midnight are a really important part of sleeping well.
“They are the hours that are deeply restorative, that heal the body and provide sought after anti-ageing benefits.
“Even if you get a good amount of sleep, going to bed late is likely to leave a large amount of your sleep being highly inefficient.
“Try to get to bed around 10.30pm four nights a week to allow your body to access that vital 90-minute phase of sleep before midnight.”
2am wake up
“Waking up between 2am and 4am is a surprisingly common complaint,” said Ramlakhan.
“If you wake up at this time and struggle to get to sleep it’s crucial not to start overthinking and worrying about not getting enough hours rest. The more you worry about missed sleep the worse your sleep quality will be.”
Everybody’s sleep requirements are different, and you don’t necessarily need eight hours of sleep every night.
If you wake up feeling refreshed after six hours sleep, you’re probably getting enough sleep for you, said Ramlakhan.