Pat Henry: Feeling old? Get more sleep
Our fitness expert continues his live longer column with some natural anti-ageing tips
One of the best ways to stay young is to get enough good-quality sleep. A lot of factors can contribute to bad sleep:
1. Possible changes in times you go to bed. Shift work that is irregular.
2. Anxiety or stress.
3. Eating or drinking too late at night.
4. Sugary drinks or alcohol.
5. Caffeine-based drinks.
6. Long-term insomnia can stem from illness such as asthma, prostrate problems, ulcers.
So how do we get a good night's sleep? There are very simple solutions that will help you to sleep better.
1. The first thing to do is block out all light and have complete darkness in the room as the eyes are very sensitive to light when trying to get sleep.
2. Remove all electrical equipment, TVs, iPads, electrical alarms, mobile phones - anything that has an electrical current going through it. Your bedroom can be like going to bed in a microwave. Remove all these items and you will notice the difference very quickly.
3. Try and get to bed each night at the same time and rise at the same time. This will help you regulate your sleep pattern.
4. Don't go to bed too early and try and force yourself to sleep, that only makes things worse.
5. Avoid exercising too late in the evening as this will increase your metabolism, so allow at least three to four hours to let your body calm down.
6. Take a really hot bath with lavender oil. Just soak and this will definitely help.
7. Have good sex! This helps to release the happy hormones and gives you a feeling of tranquillity.
7. Ki Massage is one of the most effective ways of inducing sleep. It can regulate your metabolism and will definitely produce a more relaxed state of mind.
Another important thing is not to nap during the day, even if you feel tired.
At the moment there are many people in their 20s having sleep problems due to stress in their jobs. Many are working 14-hour days, getting home late and still sending emails. You have to switch off and allow your body to recharge and re-energise.
It is your battery that is charging; if you let it run too low you simply burn out. You could take up Hatha Yoga, Tai, Chi, dancing, gym training, regular Ki Massage, reflexology, meditation - just get organised with a definite plan of action and within weeks you will see a great improvement in your quality of sleep.
Health & Living