About 1 in 1o people suffer from sleepless nights, you wake up feeling like you didn’t actually sleep at all. Sometimes you can get to sleep but constantly wake up during the night or can’t get to sleep at all. If insomnia lasts for only a few nights, it is not as detrimental, however, if you suffer from long term, chronic insomnia it can be very detrimental to your health causing you to lose productivity and focus, you feel like you can’t carry out your usual tasks at work, makes you more likely to put on weight or to become unhealthy in your eating habits. It could also lead to serious mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
If you believe you or your partner suspect that you may have sleep apnea, you need to see a professional right away. Sleep apnea is a condition whereby you stop breathing for what can be as long as two minutes, and the level of oxygen in your blood will drop which causes oxygen deprivation. However, at this point a reflex kicks in and causes you to gasp for air thankfully. The problem is that this can wake you up up to 200 times per night, it’s no wonder you get tired if you have this condition waking up so many times during the night, although you are likely to not remember each time.
So a few tips to getting a better nights sleep:
1. learning meditation and breathing techniques or doing regular yoga can assist you if you are anxious and help to keep worries at bay;
2. listening to calming music as you fall asleep, download an app there are loads of free apps to choose from;
3. regular exercise of course, this can be anything from walking daily or taking an outdoor fitness class (why outdoors? to balance essential melatonin and Vitamin D, melatonin is the hormone that helps us sleep and wake up), swimming or a daily jog;
4. exercise must be more than two hours prior to when you usually go to bed, if you can exercise around lunch time that is a perfect time to promote sound sleeping, a lot of workplaces are taking up personal training for their staff members which really assists with the afternoon slump and productivity!;
5. wake up at a regular time each day, even if you have only had 3 hours sleep;
6. if you are not sleepy but are in bed, get out of bed and go into another room until you feel sleepy again, but don’t switch on your laptop!;
7. avoid eating a heavy evening meal containing bacon, cheese, chocolate, eggplant, ham, potatoes, sugar, sausage, spinach, tomatoes or wine late in the evening as they contain norepinephrine which is a brain stimulant, or heavy meals in general in the evening, you just don’t need them, eat more early in the day to give you sustained energy to complete the tasks you need to;
8. you can eat bananas, dates, figs, milk, tuna, wholegrain crackers and yogurts which are all high in tryptophan which promotes sleep;
9. eating 1/2 a grapefruit before bed also helps you sleep.
So, we all know the basics but do we do them?
If you need help with sleep and seem to be stuck in a rut, find a local outdoor fitness group or better still, engage a personal trainer just once a week to help you set a routine you can fit into your lifestyle. Seeing a personal trainer even once per week can be enough to establish a proper routine and give you the motivation to bring more balance into your fitness routine.
The comments here are not intended to be medical advice. If you suspect you have a medical condition please seek medical assistance from your GP.
Create Health & Fitness Personal Trainers are now also operating in Joondalup and the surrounding areas, as well as Perth City and Surrounding Suburbs. If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.