We know busy professionals often struggle to switch off, with many of us being guilty of checking a late-night email and working into the early hours. With working from home being the new norm it's even harder to switch off, so getting that work-life balance nailed has never been more important.
One of the most important, yet difficult lifestyle habits to enforce is sleep quality with a whopping 36% of UK adults stating they struggle to get to sleep at least once on a weekly basis. The importance of getting restful, restorative sleep is vital in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and plays a big part in our productivity.
Though, a good night of sleep - at least 7 hours per night - is a necessity. Sleep improves muscle-growth, speeds up fat loss, and carries loads of health benefits that will help us to look and feel better.
Top Tips To Improve Sleep
Put down your phones and laptops and step away from your digital devices. Whilst exposure to light during the day is beneficial, the same can't be said for night time as this has the opposite effect. This is due to its effect on your circadian rhythm, tricking your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. So switch off those smartphones, those work emails can wait till the morning.
The hour just before bed is an ideal time to get in a relaxing pilates session, which will calm that hectic mind and bring on sleepy hormones. Check out a few pilates moves you could try.
DITCH THE DESK
We don't all have the luxury of a dedicated office to work from home in, but it is important to try and separate where you work from where you spend most of your free time. This applies to your bedroom too, to allow for a good sleep routine you should only use your bedroom for sleeping, this allows your body to understand when it is time to switch off.
Check out VWorks, our business hub. As a Village Gym member, you can enjoy a reduced rate on membership to our working space, kitted out with cosy seating, snacks on tap and high speed WiFi. Save your bedroom for bedtime and bring your office… to ours!
LOSE THE LIE INS
We get it, after a busy week of work we all enjoy a lie in on the weekend, but sleeping in for too long could actually be hindering your sleep during the week. Try your best to wake up at the same time every day and yes, that does include weekends! This will help your body to create a routine and ensure you have a sound sleep.
Work your fitness routine into your usual schedule, in order to naturally set your body clock to a new routine. Book yourself in for the Saturday morning spin class to get you fired up and ready to start the weekend. Or enjoy the quieter times on the gym floor during the morning, to get you focussed for the day ahead.
LUNCH TIME LIFT
Rather than sit at your desk throughout lunch (we know you do!), take a break and squeeze in a 30 minute workout. Slumping over your desk without moving for 8 hours does no favours for your posture, equally poor sleep. So tackle a lunch hour lifting session, pop in for a little pilates or enjoy a swim… all great ways to stretch out tight muscles and bring on a great sleep.
STRETCH IT OUT
Yoga is a great way to relax the mind and body, bringing on the hormones that naturally promote sleep. The stretching techniques used in our yoga classes will help to perfect that posture… great for those who struggle to get comfy thanks to bedtime back problems.
ON YER BIKE
Group exercise if fast-paced, energetic and yep… tiring! What better way to work the whole body and tire out the muscles, to help your body to get into recovery mode. A 45 spin class will leave you feeling beat, but you can bet on it that you’ll get a cracking night’s sleep afterwards!
Avoid intellectually stimulating books and use this time for easy reading. It will reduce mental chatter and allow you to relax and let go of the day’s preoccupations. Easy reading, by the way, is whatever you normally wouldn’t read. So if you normally read non-fiction, try reading fiction. If you prefer to read fiction, try reading some history. Of course, you could always brush up on your fitness know-how with plenty of reads over on Village Life…
AVOID THE POST WORK SLUMP
After a long day in the office or the home office, there's nothing better than sitting in front of the television with your feet up but getting some exercise each day can help improve your sleep. Moderate-to-vigorous exercise can increase sleep quality and the time it takes to fall asleep, although working out too late in the day may cause sleep problems. So why not swap your binge-watching session for a sweat session in the gym or even a fresh evening walk.
Let’s get that shoddy sleep sorted!