We shouldn’t forget the positive impact that exercise has on sleep and World Sleep Day provides an ideal opportunity to reflect on this.

During the Coronavirus lockdown because of increased levels of anxiety, disruptions to daily life and a lack of structured exercise lots of people have struggled to sleep well and are feeling tired during the day.

There are many benefits to taking regular exercise but individuals don’t always realise that improved sleep is one. Exercise can increase sleep quality, reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and decrease sleep restlessness. Stress is a common cause of sleep problems and exercise can trigger anti-anxiety responses in the body to help alleviate sleep complaints.

WHAT IS WORLD SLEEP DAY

World Sleep Day is an annual event held the Friday before Spring Vernal Equinox. This year it falls on Friday 19th March 2021. It is organised by the World Sleep Day Committee of World Sleep Society and was introduced to celebrate sleep and raise the awareness and importance of healthy sleep.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP

According to the NHS most adults need between 6 and 9 hours of good quality sleep every night. Good quality sleep is more important than the amount of sleep you get. You should establish how much you need and try to achieve it. By calculating what time you need to wake up you can set a regular sleep pattern as it helps to wake up at the same time every day.

Good quality sleep has many benefits including:

  • Lowers the risk of serious health problems including heart disease and diabetes
  • Body heals and restores its chemical balance
  • Keeps the immune system strong
  • Brain forges new thought connections and helps memory retention
  • Reduces stress and improves mood
  • Helps to maintain a healthy weight
  • Muscles worked during exercise are repaired and built

A FEW TOP TIPS TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF YOUR SLEEP

If you feel that you need to improve the quality of your sleep you might want to try some of these tips:

  • Follow a consistent sleep schedule
  • Get regular exercise during the day
  • Eat a well-balanced diet rich in fruit and veg
  • Avoid eating 2 – 3 hours before bedtime
  • Limit the amount of caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime
  • Turn of electronic devices in the bedroom to reduce blue light exposure
  • Eliminate external light and noise from the bedroom and keep it cool to create a relaxing environment
  • Avoid tobacco use
  • After trying to fall asleep for 20 mins, get up and read, then try again later

“A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP IS VITAL FOR YOUR HEALTH AND IS AS IMPORTANT AS EATING HEALTHY AND EXERCISING”