Well-being Tips

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In our last newsletter, we decided to focus on physical health and started with healthy nutrition. In this issue, we'll continue with sleep.

As you probably know, sleep is precious. A lot of studies have shown that not getting enough sleep increases a risk of developing serious medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

While sleeping well is not a guarantee for good health, it helps to maintain many vital functions. One of the most important functions is to help cells to recover from everyday wear and tear - tissue repair, muscle growth, and protein synthesis occur mainly during sleep.

Here are some tips that might help you sleep better:

1. Try to sleep and wake at consistent times – keep in mind this includes weekends.

2. Reduce blue light exposure in the evening – it tricks your body into thinking it's daytime. There are apps for your computer (such as f.lux) to help with this.

3. Increase bright light exposure during the day. Studies have shown that in people with insomnia, daytime bright light exposure improved sleep quality, duration, and reduced the time to fall asleep by 83%.

4. Reduce irregular or long daytime naps. They may confuse your internal clock.

5. Take a melatonin supplement. Melatonin is a key sleep hormone that tells your brain it’s time to go to bed and sleep. It is also useful when traveling and adjusting to a new time zone - it helps your body’s circadian rhythm return to normal.

6. Consider other supplements such as: gingko biloba, glycine, valerian root and magnesium. They can all help you induce relaxation.

7. Don't have large meals or drink coffee late in the evening. Eating late at night affects your melatonin levels. Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and may stop your body from naturally relaxing. It can stay elevated in your blood for 6 to 8 hours!

8. Don't drink alcohol – it can it can reduce night-time melatonin production and increase symptoms of sleep apnoea, snoring or disrupted sleep patterns.

9. Try to minimize external noise, light, and artificial lights from devices like cell phones and alarm clocks. Try different temperatures to find out which is most comfortable for you. Around 20°C works best for most people.

10. Try to relax and clear your mind before sleep. Pre-sleep routines and techniques such as massage, relaxing music, reading a book, taking a hot bath, deep breathing and visualisation may help.

Good night and sleep tight! :)

For our UK fellows that enjoyed a long weekend I think it’s exactly the column they should read, a lot of good advices for all of us. Martina will be more than happy to get your feedback and ideas on any of the 3 aspects – food, sleep and exercise duting the lockdown period, on Slack under “People Insider– Well-being Tips”

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