- Sleep is your body's time to rest and recover (the average adult requires at least 7 hours)
- You go through cycles of sleep - each cycle is about 90-100 minutes. This includes deep sleep (Non REM) and lighter sleep (REM). REM = Rapid Eye Movement
- Deep Non REM sleep is when your body is in restorative mode and helps you to feel re-energised and rested upon wakening
- Inadequate deep sleep can leave you feeling fatigued and groggy
- REM sleep is a very important lighter phase of sleep where you are most likely to have dreams
- Although you may be able to sleep when you have had lots of coffee or after drinking alcohol, it affects the quality of your sleep. In these instances, you don’t get as much deep, recovery sleep – hence why you may wake up not feeling rested
|Quick Sleep Quiz
- Do you find it very difficult to get to sleep?
- Do you get less than 7 hours sleep a night?
- Do you constantly toss and turn or wake up in the night?
- Do you wake up most days not feeling well rested?
- Do you snore?
If you answered YES to more than one of these questions, you might need to talk to your doctor. It could change your life.
Healthy Sleeping Habits
- Aim to get around 7-8 hours sleep each night.
- Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day - this helps keep your body clock synchronised.
- Get outside every day in natural daylight – this helps your body to regulate melatonin which is one of the hormones which regulates sleep cycles.
- Get regular exercise every day - this can help you sleep better. Try not to do intensive exercise too close to bed time as this can keep you awake.
These healthy sleeping habits are from A Fit & Healthy You. A Fit & Healthy You has been written by Claire Turnbull; Nutritionist for The Millennium Institute of Sport & Health with input from the nutrition team at Nestlé and the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation. For more healthy sleeping habit tips and other great articles such as eating for good health, managing a busy life, foods to choose when eating out, download or order your copy of A Fit & Healthy You