The Power of Sleep

This week is Sleep Awareness Week.

We all know how much more of a struggle life can be if we’re tired and we all know we need to sleep, but how many of us prioritise sleep?

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How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

How often do you delay bedtime to watch an extra episode of your latest box set or lose ourselves in Instaworld? Hands up who goes to bed an earlier later than when they first think, “I should really go to bed,” because it’s easier to stay on the sofa?

The science of sleep has become a huge topic in recent years. Check out Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. The upshot of both books is, if you value your brain, get more sleep.

How well and how much you sleep impacts:

Your mood – who isn’t crankier when they’re tired?

Your appetite - we’re more likely to reach for quick energy options when we’re tired, namely junk and caffeine.

Your coping mechanisms – if you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re a parent reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I know. Yeah, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night – great, but who’s telling our kids? Nothing can prepare you for the brutality of chronic sleep deprivation as a parent but whether you’re a parent or not, there are some things you can strive for each day, to improve the quality of your sleep.

Here are my top 6 tips for getting some better Zzzzzz…

1. Step away from the light… at least an hour before bed, PUT. YOUR.PHONE. DOWN. The blue light that screens emit suppress the production of melatonin, which helps our brain to regulate our circadian rhythm. To be avoided.

2. Try not to have caffeine after midday – caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so that post-lunch latte may be affecting how well you sleep, even if you don’t realise it.

3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible – start with low lights in the evening to prepare the body for sleep. If your curtains or blinds let in light, try sleeping with an eye mask.

4. Keep tech OUT of the bedroom. No phones, no laptops or tablets.

5. Try and leave a few hours after eating before bed. The better you have digested your meal, the better you’ll sleep. And avoid late night snacking for the same reason.

6. Aim to do 5 minutes of relaxation before bed - this can take the form of deep breathing. This can be as simple as a series of deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-7-8 breath - breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and slowly let your breath out for the count of 8. It takes a little practice but give it a go. Build up to ten rounds.

So, if only for this week, aim to be in bed just half an hour earlier each night and see how you feel. More energised? Better skin? Less hungry? Happier? I'll take any of those.

Netflix can wait.

Source: Photo by howling red on Unsplash

Perimenopause - what is it and am I in it?

emma-simpson-153970-unsplash

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You’re going along, PMS-period, PMS-period, all the joy, and then BAM something changes. Your PMS is a little worse. Or a lot worse. You cycle has gotten shorter. Or longer. You’re feeling anxious, but you can’t work out why, and is it me or is it HOT in here?

Are you menopausal? Or is this the perimenopause? First up, what’s the difference? Perimenopause is basically menopause transition by another name. It’s the bit between your periods changing to you not having them for 12 months, which is the medical definition of being post-menopausal. Menopause is the destination. Perimenopause is the journey. For some women, this transition is something they don’t notice, for others it has a big impact on their life, and for 1 in 10 women, that “transition” can last for up to ten years and start in their late thirties or early forties.

What does the transition feel like? Well, symptoms can be physical or emotional. There are several tests that can indicate whether you are menopausal, but oftentimes the symptoms speak for themselves, especially if you’re 40+.

Symptoms are emotional and physical and often include:

·         Tired (all the time)

·         Anxiety

·         Mood Swings

·         Memory loss

·         Brain fog

·         Period changes (longer or shorter cycle, heavier bleeding)

·         Low sex drive

·         Hot flushes

·         Night Sweats

·         Insomnia

This is not an exhaustive list (just exhausting to experience).  The reason why you can feel like your PMS has ramped up is because our hormones may be in a state of flux as we age – oestrogen, progesterone, thyroid, insulin… just a few of the hormones that dictate how well we are handling “the change” as it approaches.

Can diet help?  Yes, but as part of a series of measures that might make this time easier.

Balance your blood sugar

Don’t skip meals, and every time you eat make sure you’re getting some protein (for example, chicken, fish, tofu, nuts, seeds, eggs) and a healthy fat (examples include avocadoes, eggs, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds) as well as some vegetables and a piece of fruit. And this also means ditching the sugar in your diet as much as you can… yep, that’s the chocolate, cakes and biscuits that you may think are helping you cope, but which are just aggravating the problem.

Stay regular

Aiming to have a bowel movement a day is part of managing hormonal imbalance. Eating plenty of fibre especially from fruit and vegetables and wholegrains can improve your digestion and in turn help your body excrete excess oestrogen, too much of which can contribute to the perimenopause symptoms.

Feeling seedy?

Seeds are a great source of phytoestrogens – flax, chia, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin – take your pick. A few tablespoons a day as part of your diet may help with hormonal balance.

Eat Your Greens

All vegetables are good, of course. But cruciferous vegetables, like cabbage, broccoli, watercress, rocket and cauliflower may support the liver to detoxify oestrogen, helpful if your levels of this hormone are high.

Diet is just part of the picture. Lifestyle changes are also essential to weather this hormonal storm the best you can – that includes working on getting more and better sleep and learning to cope better with stress. Easier said than done, right? But finding small but consistent ways to deal with stress can have a huge impact on how your body copes. Self-care is not indulgent, it’s a coping mechanism and it’s vital. It can be as simple as 5 minutes of deep breathing when you wake up or before going to sleep (try breathing in for the count of 4 and slowly exhaling for the count of 7, and do it 10 times); it might be getting to that yoga class once a week, or even just making sure you get a walk around the park once or twice a week; it can be time with friends to share and laugh or time alone in a bath with your favourite podcast or your favourite magazine – or all of the above!

Gwynnie stood up not long ago and said, “Hey world, I’m experiencing perimenopause,” (I paraphrase) but she was jovial when she said it. True, she was talking about it to promote her Goop menopause supplement, BUT she said that menopause needs a ‘re-brand’ and I think that’s true.

When our mums went through menopause, it was “going through the change”, a phrase most likely mouthed with dramatic emphasis rather than spoken out loud and was generally endured with misery and often sadness. But menopause is not a disease. It’s a process which our bodies are designed to go through.

So, remember, menopause is the destination, perimenopause is the journey – so post-menopause should be Shangri-La. Right? I hear women say they feel great to be through the other side. My job is to make the journey to post-menopause less stressful, less overwhelming and well, just, less. Let’s work on that together.

 

 

Will seed cycling sort my period problems?

Can eating seeds improve our periods?

Photo by Cathal Mac an Bheatha on Unsplash

Photo by Cathal Mac an Bheatha on Unsplash

That’s the premise of seed cycling. Whether your hormonal misery is PMS or perimenopause, if you have a menstrual cycle, you can try it. Seed cycling is the practice of eating specific seeds, in a prescribed quantity, in each phase of your cycle, to support hormone balance. It uses flaxseeds, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds.

Beginning on the first day of your cycle, you eat 1-2 tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseeds and raw pumpkin seeds. Following ovulation, you switch to 1-2 tablespoons of raw sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. If you don’t know when you ovulate, switching at day 15 is recommended.

The idea is that the flax and pumpkin seeds support oestrogen production and hormone metabolism in the first half of your cycle, the follicular phase, and then the sunflower and sesame support progesterone levels in your luteal phase (the phase between ovulation and your next period). That’s the theory. So, have I done it and what do I think? Honestly, no, I haven’t. Do I eat seeds every day? Pretty much, but I’m not prescriptive about it. Does eating those seeds have a positive effect on my menstrual cycle? Maybe. But I can’t be sure.

Let’s consider scientific research – well, there are no studies that I could find explicitly comparing the effect of seed cycling with any kind of control. However, an absence of specific studies on seed cycling does not equate to its potential value or lack of. It just means it hasn’t been studied YET. Now, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence for it – by which I mean people saying that it’s helped them enormously and this, in my opinion, should not be disregarded either. If you just dip your Google toe into seed cycling, you’re going to find that women in huge numbers have tried this.

There are a decent number that considers the impact of flaxseeds on health and there is certainly literature that recommends ground flaxseed for hormonal balance. Take one period misery, menstrual cramps: the cause of period cramps may be due to excess prostaglandins, oestrogen dominance (too much oestrogen in your body, or your body not clearing oestrogen effectively), or inflammation. Seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which may help lower inflammation and tackle the effects of prostaglandins. Also, the lignans in the seeds may help support the elimination of oestrogen which helps reduce the chances of oestrogen dominance. Several studies have highlighted other benefits on hormonal health of ground flaxseeds:

1. Fewer anovulatory cycles in normal cycling women

2. Longer luteal phase with higher progesterone/oestradial ratio

So, it doesn’t seem like an outrageous suggestion that eating a few tablespoons of seeds might improve your cycle. They are little nutritional powerhouses. Upping your daily dose of these four – flax, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame - is going to help increase your dietary intake of zinc, omega 3, calcium and magnesium - and that’s all good. (Buy organic though to rule out pesticide residue.)

My professional opinion is that there are any number of interventions that can improve hormonal problems for women, both dietary and lifestyle. I would always suggest that if you are having problems with your cycle, be it low mood, painful periods, breast tenderness or anxiety, consulting a qualified and registered nutritional therapist will give you 1:2:1 tailor-made care that is more likely to garner results than just trying one thing, like upping your seed intake each day. But hey, give seed cycling a go for a few periods and see if you find any benefits and be sure to let me know if you do! Remember, pay attention to the bigger nutrition picture too – good hormonal balance requires lots of good quality protein, healthy fats, eating the rainbow, good sleep and keeping your sugar, caffeine and booze to a minimum.

Period cravings

If your period is due, you’re almost certainly on the hunt for junk. A bar of chocolate. Party bag of cookies. Six pack of Frazzles. Whatever it is you’re craving, it all comes down to the same thing - being pre-menstrual and wanting to eat junk food go hand-in-hand for many women and for some it feels like a battle each and every month.

So, what’s the deal? Well, there are various theories on this, but not an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence.

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Right. Caffeine. Evil genius or much maligned superhero? Well, there’s been tons of research on caffeine.

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How many of us feel overwhelmed at home but manage to go out into the world, to work, or to the school gates and smile when someone, walking past, brightly asks how you are.

“Fine, thanks!” Even though the truth is nowhere near fine. But we’ve managed to get dressed and get out the door – so how bad can it be?

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My favourite turmeric latte

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Here’s the recipe:

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