How important is sleep compared to diet and exercise?
Here at Eresos, naturally, we’re all about promoting wellness, yet we are very conscious of how difficult it is to reach a destination of complete well-being - but embarking on a continuous, lifelong journey towards contentment. It’s about finding joy in every day, even when it’s hard to see past the wind, rain and challenges that life presents.
We are certainly not the first people to let you know just how important a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise is. How they can boost your energy, improve your mood and support a healthy, long life. But what many people forget to consider is how vital the quality of their sleep each night is. You could be working out hard in the gym and maintaining a clean diet (majority of the time) but if you’re not meeting your ideal sleep quota per night you won’t feel or look your best.
Are you guilty of:
- Staying up late to finish that new series you’re binge-watching?
- Using your phone or other screens right up until you go to sleep?
- Participating in high energy activities shortly before bedtime?
If you answer ‘Yes’ to one or more of those questions, you will likely experience problems with your sleep patterns. And if you’re not sleeping well, you’re much more likely to be a grumpy and a low energy version of you. So why is it important and what are the long-term effects?
Sleep is where all the good stuff happens!
- It’s a mini break for our brain: it stores new information and disposes of unnecessary waste, freeing up space for the following day.
- It is one of the only free muscle therapies around. It beats any protein powder on the market as our muscles repair quicker when we sleep, reducing the chance of injury.
- It helps you to remain switched on. It’s directly linked to improving your memory and focus.
- Sleep can contribute towards keeping you trim and maintaining a healthy weight. Lack of sleep will increase cravings for high sugar and fat foods and will impact your energy and enthusiasm towards exercise.
- Maintain a healthy heart: it can reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
- Protect yourself: enough sleep will support a healthy immune system.
If these amazing benefits of getting a full night’s slumber aren’t enough to make you re-consider your bedtime routine, then what will?
We know it’s never simply a matter of going to bed earlier. Life is busy and it can often feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. But if you slowly start to introduce some healthy habits that strengthen your chances of improved sleep, you are well on your way to a more productive and healthier lifestyle. It will also help amplify all the great benefits you get from eating well and exercising, as all three elements should be considered as an equal part of a balanced lifestyle. If you have to reduce your workout time or workout earlier in the day to ensure you get enough sleep that night, then that’s absolutely the right thing to do. Finding the right balance that works for you is key.
The first step is avoiding screens for at least one hour before bed. Dedicate that golden window to reading a book, journaling, or listening to relaxing music. Utilising your phones “Do Not Disturb” setting is also highly recommended! These are positive ways to lightly stimulate the mind without draining your energy and can help keep you feel centred and relaxed.
Research shows that around a 1/3 of UK adults suffer with insomnia. Common causes of insomnia include stress, an irregular sleep schedule, poor sleeping habits, mental health disorders like anxiety and depression, physical illnesses and pain, medications, neurological problems, and specific sleep disorders. 
CBD has some excellent properties for improving your sleep quality as well as your chances of drifting off. This works because CBD is a signalling molecule that triggers the release of cortisol that has sedative effects.
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