From time to time, many of us may struggle with a restless sleep, or fancy a lie in at the weekend. These few occasions shouldn’t cause a problem, but it is important to try to regularly get a good sleep.
Think about your sleep environment
Everything from the temperature of the room to switching off the TV and putting down your phone, can make a real difference to how easily you drift off to sleep. Also try to make the room dark. You could try an eye mask, or heavier curtains – blackout blinds might be a useful investment.
Relax before bed
Try reading a book, writing a to do list to clear your mind, or taking a warm bath to help you feel less stressed if it’s been a busy day.
Set a routine and try to stick to it! Decide when you will go to bed and try to keep to a similar time most days, so you get used to it.
Think about what you’re eating and drinking
Making healthier food choices can help to improve sleep generally and it can also help you to manage a healthy weight. There is some food and drink you should try to avoid before bedtime which includes alcohol, caffeine and spicy food. It’s also a good idea not to have a large meal a few hours before bed.
So many benefits – what’s your motivation?
Most people know that getting more active is a great way to help manage your weight. Carrying too much weight increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart and circulatory diseases. Being active can still help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart and circulatory disease even in the absence of weight loss.
- gives you energy and helps you sleep
- helps your joints and flexibility
- benefits your mind as well as your body – exercise releases endorphins, which you could think of as happy hormones. Being active is proven to reduce stress levels and improve low mood.
There are so many benefits to getting more active – it’s worth the effort to find that something that helps keep you motivated!
Knowing where to start can be tough. Here are some top tips to help you on your way:
- Make small swaps that build activity into your day -such as walking all or part of the way to the shops or take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Set a goal and track your progress -it can help you keep up a change in the long term.
- Buddy up with friends or family -discover new ways to spend time with friends and family, and you can keep each other motivated.
- Get a work out at work – go for a walk during lunchtime or squeeze in extra steps during your breaks.
Choose what works for you
Exercise doesn’t just mean running marathons and going to the gym, it’s anything that gets you a bit warmer, slightly out of breath and your heart beating faster.
These can all count:
- Household chores
Spending long periods of time sitting, (this does not include sleeping) is known as a ‘sedentary’ lifestyle. Being sedentary is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart and circulatory disease even if you are physically active. If you spend lots of time sitting – for example at a desk, or on your journey to work – it’s important to get up and move around as much as you can.
Do some light activity such as walking. If you sit at a desk or screen all day, try some chair-based exercises. Also aim to build light activity into your day – why not try some of these?
- Go and speak to colleagues instead of sending an email
- Take regular breaks to get a glass of water
- Have walking meetings
- Walk part of your journey, or park a bit further from the building