25.03.19

If improving your health and fitness is a top priority for you, then you need to read on…

Whilst most advice points to eating your five portions of fruit and veg and reaching 10,000 steps a day, we often forget about the third pillar of health – sleep!

You already know how much better you feel after a good night’s sleep, but you may not know that not getting enough can affect your health and fitness goals.

Here are some of the surprising ways sleep is linked to your health…

Calorie burn

Did you know your body is still working even when you’re resting?

While a number of factors dictate exactly how many calories you burn, the average is around 266-342 calories per night.

But that’s not to say sleep is the solution to weight loss. Your body needs to burn calories to sustain its vital functions, even when you’ve switched off.

Sleep less, weigh more

Research has shown that those who sleep fewer than five hours per night gain more weight than those who get seven to eight hours of shut eye.

Poor sleep leads to raised levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and lower levels of leptin, a hormone that helps you feel full.

With a third of us now sleeping for just five to six hours per night, it’s imperative that we start focusing on sleeping better. And it’s not only good for physical health – but can improve your mental and emotional wellbeing too.

How to sleep better

If you’ve been struggling to sleep well it may be time to go back to basics. Take a look at your sleep environment and how you can improve it, put your smartphone/tablet down before bed and practice relaxation techniques or invest in a new bed for that perfect night’s sleep.

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