Eating a healthy balanced diet accompanied by regular exercise is essential in maintaining physical and mental health, but adequate sleep also plays an extremely important role in our overall health and wellbeing.
Sleep is a period when our brain rejuvenates and regulates the functions of our nervous system, ensuring important processing, restoration, and reduced stress. With longer and proper periods of sleep, our body can grow muscle, repair tissue, strengthen memory-enabling us to learn skills and help regulate and synthesise hormones.
Ana Carolina Corsi Pereira, Fitness Manager at Fitness First, says. "If our bodies experience lack of sleep, this can cause major concerns and health problems. When sleep is deprived, the active process of the lymphatic system does not have time to perform its functions and can lead to a build-up of toxins which becomes apparent in cognitive abilities, behaviour and judgement.
"Insufficient sleep can cause an increase of the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and decrease of the satiety hormone (leptin), which can result in weight gain. It can also lead to anxiety, weakened immune system, reduced testosterone, and even long-term change of DNA.
"Exercise is a great way to support a better night's sleep as it helps combat improper body functions and health problems. Doing regular workouts can also help maintain good sleep patterns, which is imperative to ensure overall good health."
Pereira from Fitness First reveals the best tips to help a good night's sleep.
Aerobic exercises have been proven to ensure quality sleep and battle insomnia. These exercises allow good blood flow and secretion of the "happy hormones", called endorphins, which facilitate better sleep. 20-minutes of moderate-intensity workouts or a 10-minute high-intensity workout can help maximise energy levels and maintain regular sleep.
The SPIN studio at Fitness First Dubai Festival City is an excellent cardio workout space that features a truly immersive riding experience with the MyJourney indoor cycling programme. Its digital software delivers data-visualisation to engage riders by tracking group and individual performance. To level up the cardio workout, delve into Aqua Zumba or Hydrokombat classes. Swimming, running, jump ropes, and/or burpees can be done every day to achieve a good night's sleep.
Yoga is well-known to be the perfect activity for relaxing both the body and mind. It helps improve breathing, increase good energy, mental stability and regulate sleep patterns. Yoga aids the performance of the parasympathetic nervous system, which has a calming and restorative effect on the body.
Fitness First, Dubai Festival City's brand-new Hot Studio delivers all the benefits of traditional yoga classes but in a hot environment. The innovative studio is powered by an ingenious infrared heating system that warms the body directly rather than heating the air.
A range of 'hot' classes, including Hot Power Vinyasa, yoga with weights and restorative yoga, all work to strengthen the cardiovascular system by increasing the heart rate while eliminating toxins, which in turn helps regulate brain functions and maintain regular required hours of sleep.
Strength training can help build stronger muscles, regulate blood sugar levels, decrease stress, improve mental health, and even improve bone health. According to recent studies, lifting weights and strength training in the morning can help people fall asleep 45-minutes faster and lifting weights in the evening can improve the quality of one's night sleep.
With regular strength training, one can ensure improved quality of sleep and control the frequency of waking up throughout the night.
Additional tips to improve sleep
- Practice parasympathetic breathing (deep and relaxing breathing) before bedtime
- Sleep in a dark and cool room
- Do not expose yourself to blue light emanating from screens before a night's sleep
- Plan and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Avoid caffeine and sugary items during the night
- Consume supplements such as magnesium and Ashwagandha past dinner
Take a step towards better sleep and a healthier lifestyle and visit Fitness First at Dubai Festival City for a free trial here.