We are all familiar with those sleepless nights: tossing and turning, looking at the clock, another hour passed, getting up make a hot drink, read a book, dozing at 6am only to wake an hour later when the alarm abruptly takes you out of the deepest deepest sleep ever!
Then feeling hungry all day and craving all the wrong food, not concentrating, devoid of energy, lethargic.
In a recent study of 5300 people, 61% regularly didn’t get a good nights sleep. In fact 15.3million prescriptions were issued last year for sleeping pills. So you're not alone.
Studies have also shown that people who sleep less than seven hours a day are 30% more likely to be obese than those who get nine hours of sleep or more.
It is thought to be because sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin, the chemical that makes you feel full and increased levels of ghrelin, the hunger-stimulating hormone
Also lack of concentration, low energy levels and even relationship issues have been linked to poor sleep.
It has been proven that with a programme of regular moderate intensity exercise, you will fall asleep more quickly, sleep longer, and have better sleep quality than before you began the exercise programme.
Research has also found that people who do regular physical activity have:
up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
a 30% lower risk of early death
up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
up to a 30% lower risk of depression
up to a 30% lower risk of dementia
Any exercise that you enjoy will tick the box – be it a brisk walk with the dog, an extended walk to the office or shops, a game of golf, a run in the woods, or a blast in the gym.
But it needs to be tough enough to raise your heart-rate and break into a sweat.
You should aim for 150 minutes per week, or 30 minutes 5x week.
So stop the pills, get outside to do what your body is made for and enjoy some natural sleep-cure!
For other tips on getting a good nights sleep, click here to access the NHS pages.