These days we seem to race through life attempting to be conscious about our health and wellbeing. We focus on skin care, nails hygiene, dental hygiene and all manner of things. But something I guarantee the majority neglects is Sleep Hygiene. It is still a misunderstood topic The level of awareness that it takes to ensure we are having healthy sleep cycles seems to be a rarely discussed subject. So how can we achieve a regular rhythmic pattern for a good night’s sleep? I’m sure we can all agree how great we feel after good nights’ sleep, but how can we achieve this more consistently? I don’t think anyone likes to feel lethargic and jaded during the day when they are trying to be productive. RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU From personal experience… I have personally struggled with my sleep pattern since I was a child, so I have tried and tested the majority of remedies and self-help solutions and it has given me a great insight into what works and what is best to avoid… Only one in ten of us report they have a good nights sleep each night So is not a great statistic and illustrates that the majority need a few tips to help switch off. Exercise – Try not to exercise too closely to going to sleep. You will still have a rush of adrenaline and lactic acid pumping around your system, which can make it very hard to drift off into a slumber. Of the 24 hours we have in a day I believe at least 1/3 of this time should be spent relaxing, sleeping, and switching off to operate well in our busy every day lives. Avoid napping unless it’s absolutely crucial – When I struggled the most with my sleep I found I was lethargic in the daytime, my heart rate felt like it was racing as my body was fighting to stay awake and my mood would drop. I once experienced severe sleep deprivation many years ago and became very unwell; the brain cannot focus without at least 3-4 hours of REM sleep each night. If you have at least three nights without a decent sleep the brain can start to go into psychosis, then the repercussions can be drastic. The importance of a good night’s sleep is imperative to our cognitive, mental, physical and emotional health and wellbeing. I hope to raise awareness on this subject as I have suffered in the past and now have to be mindful of my sleep hygiene to stay healthy and happy. If you do need to exercise late at night to fit in with your busy schedule and daily routine, I recommended yoga or gentle pilates. Tomorrow in Part 2, Sonia continues her observations on sleep hygiene and provides insights into how we can all enjoy better sleep Connect Here With Watchfit Expert Sonia Strong  

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