health

How to get a good nights sleep

Plenty of people work long hours or become stressed due to a life change, this can affect the amount and quality of sleep that you get. So here are a few simple steps to ensuring that you get the sleep that you need

Caffeine and Alcohol

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Coffee, tea and energy drinks are a go to for many people these days to give them the energy they need to complete their day in an awake state. However having beverages, food or medicine with caffeine/alcohol in them can stop you from sleeping or make you have a disturbed sleep; meaning you have more the next day to stay awake and the cycle continues. It is recommended that you stop having caffeine filled items 6 hours before bed time to ensure that it does not affect the quality of your sleep.

Exercise

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10 minutes of aerobic exercise a day (or more) can help to promote a good nights sleep. It helps to decrease alertness which will naturally help you to fall asleep easier. Also the affect of your body heating up during exercise and then cooling back down again afterwards helps to promote the action of sleep within the body.

Healthy Eating

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I know we have all heard it before, but healthy eating really does help your sleep cycle. If you put excess weight on you are more prone to disorders such as sleep apnea, this is when your throat becomes blocked by excess fat causing you to stop breathing; therefore having a disturbed sleep. Some fatty and ‘fast foods’ can also contain a lot of carbohydrate and caffeine type substances that can keep your body alert and awake. Eating a big meal just before bed is also a bad idea as your body will be busy digesting the food, therefore you are more alert.

Power down to bed

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Younger and working generations have a tendency to sit in bed on phone’s, tablets, computers or watching TV. The blue light that is emitted from these devices tell our body to stay awake (a similar affect to day time), and will therefore stop you from sleeping. It has been recommended that you turn all devices off 1 hour before bed time and do a calming activity like reading a book or having a bath. It is also good to avoid using the bed for anything other than sleeping, as if you only use the bed for sleep, your body will start to get sleepy and prepare for a better nights sleep.

So there you go, 4 small and easy changes to make sleep that bit easier. What small changes will you make to your lifestyle?

Please like and follow my blog for more helpful lifestyle tips and tricks. Posts are published every Thursday.  

Love Becca x

health

Explained: Protein

The word protein is often thrown around as the word to know in fitness and health. However so many people ask and do not know what it is and what the benefits are for our bodies to absorb enough protein.

So what actually is it?

Protein is made up of small compounds of amino acids, the body generally needs to absorb 22 types of amino acids to function properly. The human body can create all but 9 types by itself, so it relies on gaining the rest of them from rich protein foods.

Why does our body need protein?

Protein helps to repair and maintain our bodies muscles and growth. More protein is needing by the body when growing, pregnant, injured, active or people who have undergone surgery.

How much should we have a day?

Typically we should have 60 grams of protein per day or 2 grams per 1 Kilogram of body weight. However the body can only absorb about 20-30 grams of protein at once, so the daily intake should be balanced out throughout the day to ensure all is absorbed. Protein can be found from:

  • Chicken/Turkey/other lean meats
  • Soya
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Peanut Butter
  • Protein powders
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Cheese (mainly Mozzerrella)
  • Nuts
  • Seafood
  • Beans

About 20/30 grams of Protein should be consumed within half an hour after exercise. This helps to build muscles by repairing them and can help the fat burning affect last a lot longer.

Are there any risks with consuming too much?

If you consume 2.5 grams of protein per 1 kilogram of body weight then you are more at risk of dehydration, fatigue, having too many calories and having higher levels of calcium in urine. However these are fairly rare.

If you consume an extremely high amount of protein of 200-400 grams in a day then you are at risk of exceeding the livers capability to convert unneeded nitrogen to urea. This can lead to nausea, diarrhea and other effects.

If you have any more questions on protein please do not hesitate to ask!

Please like and follow my blog for more helpful lifestyle tips and tricks. Posts are published every Thursday at 6pm. 

Love Becca x