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Sleep. It’s importance and 8 ways to improve your sleeping patterns, for a healthier lifestyle!

Hello there you!

How are you feeling today and did you get a good night’s sleep?

Are you getting enough sleep per night in general; i.e between 7-9 hrs? Are you struggling to fall asleep at the moment?

It’s tough sometimes to get the right amount, especially if you’re a new parent isn’t it? Or you could be going through other major changes in your life; should it be at work, your relationships, college or moving home.

But, getting the right amount of sleep each night is so important in order to decrease those stress levels; and to keep your anxiety levels controlled.  I know myself by not getting those early nights (my youngest is an early riser!) I don’t feel myself. Your concentration is poor the next day, then you reach for the junk food and you lack the motivation to exercise or to move forward with your goals. Getting those early night’s in helps your overall wellbeing and to control stress/ low mood.

Health problems

Sleep problems could cause health issues such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, depression,  heart disease and reduced immune system function (sleepfoundation).This is not surprising as you do reach for unhealthy options when it comes to food ( I do and I’m also too tired to exercise if I haven’t had a good night’s sleep). But, I make sure I get those 8 hrs sleep each night, so I’m more motivated/focused to eat a well balanced diet, to exercise properly and to be more productive the next day.

Statistics

Research has shown:

  • That 40% of aged 18-24 struggle to fall asleep at night (sleep foundation)
  • 33% of people above 55 in the UK also struggle to fall asleep (sleep foundation)
  • 22% of people in general in the UK struggle to fall asleep (NHS)
  • 7-19% of the overall population struggle to get enough sleep (national institute of sleep)
  • 50-70 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders.

Sleep problems during times of stress

What problems do you experience during times of stress? Low quality sleep can affect your physical and mental wellbeing if not controlled/managed. Prolonged sleep problems can cause health problems/diseases.

Common sleep disorders

  • Insomnia
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Narcolepsy
  • Sleep paralysis

During times of high stress I tend to get palpitations prior to falling asleep. I’ve also experienced sleep paralysis a handful of times during my life (now, if you’re aware of sleep paralysis then you know how terrifying that can be! Not pleasant is it?)

8 ways to improve sleep (Sleep Foundation, NHS)

  • Avoid Caffeine (a stimulant) and alcohol just before bed (at least 2hrs) as they can prevent you from falling asleep or going into a more deeper sleep
  • Exercise throughout the day but avoid it just before bed
  • Make sure your sleeping environment is dark, relaxed and with dim lights if you prefer a light on
  • Put away those gadgets – I know how distracting they are.  When I take mine to bed I’m scrolling and wasting valuable sleeping time (we’re all guilty of this aren’t we?) I always leave mine downstairs now.
  • If you’re feeling anxious, do a bit of writing before bed and let those worries out. It really helps.
  • Listen to a bit of relaxation music to help you drift off
  • Stick to going to bed at the same time each night so it becomes a habit/routine over time.
  • Invest in a sleep tracker if you’re really experiencing problems with sleep.

Do you like your tea/coffee before bed and can’t do without? Maybe try some calming lavender herbal tea instead – to help you drift into a more relaxed/calmer state just before bed.

Concluding thoughts

We often forget how important sleep is – especially when we’re running around and busy with life. But, it really is the foundation to leading a more healthier lifestyle. When tired/exhausted you reach for unhealthy foods and that Caffeine to keep you going and you lack the motivation to exercise. Your anxiety/stress levels increase and you are more prone to health problems in the future.

Take a step back, look at how your sleeping patterns are and adapt (using these tips I’ve shown throughout)

What tips do you have that helps you with sleep?

Thank you for stopping by to check out my post. And, here’s to you having a decent night’s sleep going forward!

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health, inspiration motivation wellbeing

Atlantic Coast of Ireland, fresh air and soaking up the outdoors…

I was brought up in Donegal;  surrounded by fields, stunning beaches, mountains, sheep and cows. Breathtaking views…

Now, If you asked me about the Atlantic Coast when I was a teen (dying to move away from the place) I would have described it differently… Something along the lines of ‘it’s so boring and I really can’t wait to move to the BIG city’. Oh yes I loved moving to the big city at 18, for college, work, meeting new people, the nightlife and all that jazz. I had a great time (the mountains, beaches, sheep – not a second thought was given)

The importance of the outdoors and appreciating the ‘simple things’

Here I am writing a blog post about the Atlantic Coast of Ireland, older and wiser (ok, that might be debatable) as I’m visiting my family for a few weeks and it’s been over a year since I was last home (Covid wouldn’t allow and I now live in England)

Seriously though, I look out at the mountains every morning, I walk the beach every single day with my hubbie and girls (you can always wrap up) and I breathe in that fresh air.

I make sure I instill the importance of the outdoors and it’s beauty to my little girls as they grow. They absolutely love the outdoors (I love watching them skip through the fields like little lambs) There is nothing like a walk in nature to blow away those cobwebs. How I took it all for granted when I was younger…

Muckish Mountain ❤
Girls enjoying the hens, ducks and geese at my cousins farm
Happy out at the beach 💖💖
Muckish is always there ❤
Moo
I love walking the beach at sunset…
Stunning 💫
Tory Island in the background and still surfing/paddling at 9 pm
My other half soaking it all up ❤💛


Take yourself outside and soak it all up… It’s the simple things in life and nature is always there. It really is good for the soul.

Haiku

Fresh air clears the mind

Warming the soul, the outdoors

Soaking up those views


Thank you for reading my post – have a beautiful day and fill up those lungs with plenty of fresh air. Go on, get that jacket on and go for a good brisk walk ❤