Making the most of your sleep cycle

Whether it’s a busy family life, a big deadline at work or burning the candle at both ends, we can all suffer from tiredness from time to time. A hectic schedule can often mean that the elusive eight-hour sleep is more of a desire than a reality, so is there another sleep cycle to help you clock up your ‘z’ count?

A good night’s sleep doesn’t only make us feel better in ourselves, it has a huge impact on our heart health. Good quality and quantity of sleep helps to regulate our stress hormones and keeps our nervous system healthy, so over time a lack of sleep can interfere with our body’s ability to regulate these hormones which can in turn lead to high blood pressure.

Elite Sleep Coach, Nick Littlehales tells us that “we can achieve our 8 hours of sleep in polyphasic way. This means to sleep in shorter periods more often. People worry about sleep and try to do it all at night for 8 hours or more, which can be really difficult.”

So how can we put this into practice?

Infographic providing a quick guide to help achieve 8-hours sleep

Good quality sleep is a vital factor in maintaining a healthy blood pressure. By taking your blood pressure readings regularly using an easy-to-use monitor and a lifestyle tracking app, you can understand how sleep, rest and recovery impacts your heart. It’s about finding a sleep cycle and ways to rest and recover that work for you.

Sleep Expert Nick Littlehales’ top tip:
“Don’t completely focus on pre-sleep routines and what you do in the last hour before you go to bed. It’s important to remember that it’s all happened. The most important part of your recovery programm is your post-sleep: the first 90 minutes of your day. So, when your alarm goes off don’t look at notifications on your phone, get up, go to the toilet, eat something and get some daylight. Your day, your mood and ultimately even your heart health could be very different by making these small changes to your routine and lifestyle.”