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With tight headlines to meet and targets to hit, most of us think that sleep is something we can just catch up on. However, research shows that snoozing, more on weekends, isn’t really the solution.

In the short term, lack of sleep contributes to a foggy brain, reduced productivity, forgetfulness, reduced vision and midnight cravings. What is alarming is it can also be associated with heart disease, obesity and insulin resistance in the long term. Even though you feel more energised on a Monday morning, it doesn’t erase all the drawbacks of not getting enough zzz’s for the week. Studies show that even though an extra sleep on weekends can reduce your daylight brain fog and sleepiness, your focus and attention will still suffer.

Lack of sleep alters your metabolism and makes you crave sugar, which explains your desire for midnight snacks. This habit can lead to overeating, which can then lead to obesity. Research shows that sleeping longer on weekends won’t miraculously reverse your metabolic consequences due to sleep deprivation.

Napping on the other hand, especially in the early-to-mid afternoon is good, but this is only a short-term solution. If you depend on it every time, your circadian rhythm will in most instances, suffer. Thus, it will make it even harder to fall asleep at night, creating a poor sleep cycle.

The best thing to do, therefore is to get back on a regular cycle of sleep, which is 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. If you currently have a bad sleeping cycle, you can start by going to bed early and wake up at a normal time instead of sleeping late. Avoid bright lights, use a pro-sleep essential oil blend, and avoid use of your mobile phone 1 hour before sleep.

Check out these tips for a good night's sleep:

  • Wear glasses that blocks blue light

  • Download apps that block blue light on your phone and laptop

  • Stop watching TV 2 hours before heading to bed

  • Don’t consume caffeine late in the day

  • Reduce irregular or long naps

  • Sleep and wake up at consistent times

  • Consider taking a melatonin supplement

  • Optimise your bedroom environment and temperature

  • Avoid eating late in the evening

  • Relax or listen to calming music

  • Take a relaxing bath or shower

  • Exercise regularly – not before bed

  • Avoid drinking liquids before bedtime

With a regulated circadian rhythm, your sleep quantity will not only improve, but also your sleep quality. Sleeping is an important part of being healthy and if you want to live a balanced life, you have to make sleep one of your top priorities.