Problems sleeping? GMTV’s Dr Hilary offers key advice on how to combat sleep problems
During sleep our bodies rest and relax physically and mentally. Sleep allows the restoration of tissue damage, and the excretion of toxic substances from our body such as lactic acid. In our sleep, we consolidate memory and learning from that day and recuperate from illness and the effects of exercise.
Practicing GP and ITV Daybreak’s health editor, Dr Hilary Jones says:
“A deficiency in sleep not only makes you feel tired but can also affect the way we perform when confronted with lifestyle factors and pressures that affect our daily lives. By identifying and understanding positive and negative factors that can influence your sleep pattern, you can adopt a sensible sleep routine that will improve sleep leading to less stress and more rest for a happier and healthy life.”
Dr Hilary’s top tips on sleep do’s and don’ts:
• Eat well to sleep well
Increase your intake of foods such as chicken, turkey, cheese, cottage cheese, fish, milk, nuts, avocados and bananas which can help to promote sleep because they are rich in tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid which is vital to the production the hormones that help regulate mood and sleep.
• Relax and rest
With improved access to computers and increased opportunities to work from home, for many it is tempting to work late. Ideally finish work two to three hours before bedtime to avoid over stimulating your brain and allow time to wind down by reading a relaxing book or watch a film.
• Don’t take your worries to bed
Keep a pen and paper by your bed and write down anything that springs to mind just before you sleep. That way you will remove the need to remember last minute jobs and tasks that are worrying you and leave your mind clear for a restful night’s sleep.
• Your environment
Take a good look at your bedroom and make sure it is quiet, dark and not too warm or too cold. Choose light synthetic duvets that have excellent breathability to help regulate body temperature preventing you from becoming too hot or too cold. Make sure your room is well ventilated, your bedding is breathable, and noise is kept to a minimum.
• When was the last time you changed your mattress?
Your mattress should support your body shape and weight evenly allowing your spine to remain aligned with only a shallow pillow to cradle your head. If your mattress is too hard or has lost its support but you can’t afford to change it, add an extra layer of comfort by investing in a mattress topper to build a softer sleeping area.
For more health information and advice visit www.drhilaryjones.com