Getting your beauty sleep

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After a bad night, it is common to want high fat, high sugar foods such as a large latte and slice of cake at work. You might skip your usual lunchtime workout and by the time you get home, you are too exhausted to think about cooking so you pick up the phone and dial the takeaway. A glass of wine and a few crisps seem like a good idea, however this will lead to another bad nights sleep, beginning the seemingly endless cycle of sleepless nights. Facts: Lack of sleep causes the body to produce more ghrelin, the hormone that determines how hungry you are. More ghrelin causes your body to think you need food when you don't. Leptin is the hormone produced when you sleep which determines how satisfied you are. A bad nights sleep causes decreased leptin resulting in overeating and weight gain. Another hormone is melatonin which helps the body to sleep. Melatonin is produced during the evening. Melatonin levels can be vastly increased by eating healthy wholesome foods such as wholemeal, fruit, vegetables, dairy and grain products. Hints: Reduce caffeine intake after 2pm. If you still enjoy your cup of tea or coffee, switch to decaffeinated to help boost your melatonin levels. Switch off tablets, mobile phones, computers and televisions at least 2 hours before bed and do relaxing activities such as reading, knitting or jigsaws. This will allow your brain to realise it is almost time for bed. 6 Top Tips: 1. Try go to sleep and get up at the same time every day 2. Exercise regularly, even if it is light exercise such as walking 3. Avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours of going to bed 4. Avoid drinking too much liquid before bed 5. Cut back on sugary foods and carbohydrates 6. Keep your bedroom cool, quiet and dark and ensure your mattress and pillows are comfortable