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Shona Vertue is a personal trainer, yoga teacher and creator of the Vertue Method, which combines weighted resistance training and cardio with yoga and meditation.
We asked Shona Vertue to explain why sleep is so vital for our health and wellbeing and what she does in her own life to get good quality sleep. Here's what she told us...
Sleep, we have a vague idea about what it is and why it’s important and yet when we embark upon a ‘get healthy’ regime we often spend more time focusing on things like food and exercise. While nutrition and movement absolutely impact our health, a commonly overlooked aspect of health practices is improving our sleep.
As mentioned in my recent IGTV video, sleep impacts our health in so many ways from cognitive function to the efficiency of our immune system. Consequently impacting our ability to both digest our ‘healthy’ food choices and recover from our attempts to ‘get fit’.
Aside from shift workers (and new parents - congratulations but also, sorry), we mostly associate sleep with something we do at night. However, did you know that things you do in the day time can actually impact your ability to sleep at night?
Researchers call our desire to sleep, sleep drive. Our waking state and just as importantly, the things we choose to do in that waking state, impact our sleep drive. Although our sleep drive is internally regulated; it is effected by external factors. This is good news because it means that there are things that you can do in your day-to-day life to improve your zzz’s. I’ve divided these tips into daytime activities vs. night time activities labelling them; The daily rituals and the bedtime rituals. The reason for this is that not everything we do to improve our sleep will occur in the bedroom.