What is more satisfying than a good meal? A GOOD SLEEP.
We've all been taught about the importance of getting a good night's sleep since we were kids. But how many of us follow the expert's advice? And how has modern life & technology affected our sleeping habits?
- Careful what and when you eat and drink
Don't go to bed on an empty stomach and don't hop into it just after a curry! The discomfort from being hungry is obvious, as a rumbling stomach will distract you from sleeping.
Conversely researchers at Brazil’s Universidade Federal de São Paulo (see here) have found that food intake close to bed time can negatively affect sleep quality, particularly in women. Women who had a higher calorie and fat intake close to bedtime were taking longer to fall asleep and had lower sleep efficiency (i.e. they spent more time in bed not sleeping). For men, a higher intake of fat in the evening hours meant lower sleep efficiency scores, and less time in REM sleep.
This can lead to a vicious cycle, as lack of sleep can cause us to eat more during the day and also cause us to want less healthy foods. This happens because poor sleep patterns can change hormone levels that regulate hunger during the day. See here to see a summary of this study in Scientific American.
2. Create a restful sleep environment
Your surroundings can affect your sleep significantly. This can include noise, room temperature, light, bed comfort and electronic distractions.
A study from Israel(here) found that adolescents with higher electronic media use experience poorer sleep patterns and day-time sleep related problems. However, the research on this has not been conclusive and there is some debate as to whether there is a relationship between poor sleep and electronic media use (4)
3. Shower Before You Sleep
You might think it is totally unrelated but it isn't. A good sleep is devoid of itchy and sweaty body. A shower every night before you lie on your bed can eliminate itching and sweating. They can really cause great discomfort so you need to take a shower to usher in freshness into your body.
4. Choose the right pillow
Did you know that the pillow you use can affect what happens to you for the rest of the night? Many people tend to opt for large pillows that share same sizes with mini rocks. Exaggeration. I know. But you get my point yeah?
Imagine you placing your head on a pillow so large that your head and body form the Nike logo. You can bet that you'll wake up at intervals feeling pains in your neck region. You need the right pillow to support your neck and it can be a game changer.