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Day 21: Sleep

Sleep has a big impact on many different aspects of our health, including our hearts. Getting more sleep can improve our productivity, help us manage our weight, enhance immunity and reduce our risk of developing coronary artery disease.

Research suggests that being sleep deficient can affect the balance of hormones that influence our appetite and can increase our cravings for sugary foods. Prolonged sleep deprivation could therefore lead to weight gain and maintaining a healthy weight is a key factor when we are looking to lowering risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes and coronary artery disease.

Research shows 7-9 hours of sleep per night to be optimum for a healthy adult, but many of us struggle to achieve this.

Here are some top tips for improving sleep:

  • Reduce screen time in the evening.
  • Manage caffeine and alcohol intake – stop caffeinated drinks after lunch.
  • Try and avoid eating your evening meal late, so it has time to digest and you are not going to bed with full stomach.
  • Have a milky drink or night time tea with camomile or lime flower before bed.
  • Create a bedtime routine, which you stick to every night, including weekends. This might include having a bath, reading a chapter of a book or listening to calming music.
  • Minimise any disruptions from light or noise in your bedroom.

#hearthealthyhabits

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