Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

How you can improve your health just by catching more z’s!
Wednesday , 09 December 2009
Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

With Penelope Cruz recently revealing, “When I don’t sleep, I get crazy like a baby. My record for sleeping is 17 hours! I think sleep is the best thing for happiness, beauty, everything,” and Kate Becksinsale spilling, “Sleep is like the Holy Grail,” perhaps it’s time we started paying attention to how much time we spend in bed!

Aside from banishing eye bags and dull tired skin, getting the recommended seven to nine hours a night could give you a serious health boost. Studies show that too little sleep increases memory impairment and a weakened immune system, while those who get more than eight hours have better alertness and brain function.

What’s more, it’s not only the amount of sleep you get but the way you sleep which can provide a beauty boost. Sleeping on your stomach with your face pressed into the pillow can cause puffiness under the eyes, while a badly supported neck from a too-soft pillow can cause headaches and chiropractic problems.

Sleep villains

Alcohol reduces the quality of sleep. So while a ‘nightcap’ might send you off quicker, you’ll be more likely to wake later in the night.
Caffeine can still cause sleep problems up to ten to twelve hours after drinking it, so consider cutting back tea and coffee after lunch.
Nicotine is a stimulant, which disrupts sleep. Plus, nicotine withdrawal can cause smokers to wake late in the night.
Top tips for shut-eye

Eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods such as dark green veg and nuts.
Splash out on a good mattress – it’s the best investment in your health you’ll make.
Exercise reduces stress and aids a better night’s sleep.