Five ways to get the perfect night’s sleep

Struggling to get a decent bit of shut-eye? Find out how these small changes could mean the end of your nightmare insomnia…

Feeling tired is becoming a global epidemic, not only costing the the world’s economy millions and millions of dollars every year through lost productivity but more worryingly through the side effects that sleep deprivation causes. Higher chances of developing chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular, disease, depression and obesity are top of the list, with The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the US reporting that hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease and irregular heartbeats have been found to be more common among those with disordered sleep.

Although, getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep might seem impossible to many people, these tips from Fit Squad DXB personal trainer Devinder Bains will have you nodding off in no time…


Create a dark environment 

Darkness increases the production of the hormone melatonin which regulates our night/day cycle. The presence of light reduces melatonin and tells the body that it’s daytime and that you need to be awake. Try blackout blinds or an eye mask to help increase melatonin production as you fall asleep, and during the night. And if you’re visiting the bathroom in the night - keep the lights off as again light will reduce melatonin making it harder to fall asleep again. Creating a dark environment  is particularly important for people who work night shifts.


Find your quiet place

Although total silence in your bedroom is ideal it is difficult for many of us to maintain – living in urban areas, and for those who can, you’re more likely to be disturbed by sudden noises from outside than those who have some level of noise within their room already. The sound of a fan or air-conditioning (that mirrors white noise) might actually help cover unwanted noise and induce sleep or try playing recorded sounds of the sea, actual white noise or soothing music without words or a beat, some pillows come with this facility built in. If you’re sleeping with a window open for much needed ventilation (good oxygen supply is essential for a decent sleep), then opt for ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones.

Put away your phone

Light disrupts the human circadian rhythm (our internal clock) and this can affect everything from weight loss and mood to libido and of course sleep patterns. Gradual reduction of light at night will help keep things balanced, again by controlling melatonin levels. Putting away phones and laptops or any other LED screen will help, as the blue light from these devices confuses the body into thinking it’s still daytime. Investing in a bedside lamp with dimmable, warm, white light means your body’s melatonin levels aren’t confused by bright lights – should you want to stay up and read. Invest in a lamp with a low red light as it replicates the embers of a fire from before electric light was invented.


Keep the temperature cool 

The temperature of your bedroom can play havoc with a good night’s sleep. Feeling too hot can can cause night sweats that may result in waking you up or giving you a poor quality of sleep. Being too cold, forces your body to expend more energy to keep you warm, which in turn makes it harder to fall asleep. The optimal bedroom temperature for sleeping is between 16 and 19°C as a cooler room also increases melatonin, which as well as controlling sleep is an anti-aging hormone. Sleep in light pyjamas, just a T-shirt or naked or try the new Recovery Sleepwear™ by UnderArmour, the inside of the garment absorbs the bodies natural heat and reflects infrared back into the skin, this promotes better sleep, reduces inflammation, and regulates cell metabolism.


Get some exercise

Research has shown that as little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise can help you sleep, especially if you do it on a regular basis, it increases both the quality of the sleep and the duration. Exercise is known to reduce stress through the production of endorphins and less stress is an important factor in improved sleep. Early morning and afternoon exercise may also help reset your sleep/wake cycle by raising body temperature slightly, then allowing it to drop and trigger sleepiness a few hours later. It can be especially helpful if you are able to exercise outdoors and let your body absorb natural sunlight during the daytime hours. Although the time of day you exercise should not affect your sleep – some people find late evening exercise makes them feel more awake, if you’re one of those people then avoid training late in the day. 


For more information on the best times to train, speak to one of our qualified personal trainers now by booking a free consultation by calling or WhatsApping us on +971 55 542 7231 or emailing us at info@fitsquaddxb.com

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Devinder Bains