Sleep is one of the most important elements of life. An adequate amount of sleep at night helps in proper functioning of the body, staying healthy, boosting fitness levels, and mostly, helping us to feel energised and take on the day with new zeal and enthusiasm. However, less sleep makes us unhealthy, unwell and unfit to carry on throughout the day. Nutritionist Anjali Mukerjee addressed the importance of sleep in our lives and wrote, “Sleep is essential for a healthy heart. People who don’t sleep enough are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, regardless of their age, weight, smoking and exercise habits. The amount of sleep necessary varies from person to person but generally, most people need 7-8 hours a day for optimum performance.”
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She further added that not getting adequate sleep can cause disruptions in health processes such as glucose metabolism, blood pressure, inflammation, may lead to hypertension, increased sympathetic nervous system activity and vasoconstriction, causing cardiac overdrive. Anjali noted down tips to have better sleep; they are as follows:
Ideal body weight: Sleeplessness helps in causing hormone deficit – this further leads to obesity. It is advised to refrain from meal cravings and maintain an ideal body weight.
Exercise: It is important to tire out the body in order to have a good sleep. Exercising every day helps in tiring out the body.
A glass of warm milk: Before going to bed, it is advised to drink a glass of warm milk – this helps in having a calming effect.
Spicy, oily food: These food items cause indigestion and acidity, which further disturbs sleep. It is best to avoid such food items.
Tea and coffee: Drinking stimulants such as tea and coffee make us stay awake at night – this further disturbs the night sleep. It is recommended to avoid tea and coffee consumption at night.
Calcium, magnesium supplements: Calcium helps in boosting sleep, while magnesium has a calming effect on the body, thereby relieving it of anxiety and promoting sleep.
Sleep-friendly environment: Create a soothing space for sleeping. Take a hot bath or incorporate meditation in the night-time routine or read a book – these activities help in sleeping better.
Overeating: Anjali recommended that overeating at night should be avoided to curb obesity and boost better sleep.
Exercising close to bedtime: This causes adrenaline and norepinephrine to be released, which keep us awake. Anjali advised that exercising should be finished by 7pm.