Remember how simple life could be as a child? Someone told you when to eat and what to eat, you went to bed at a set time and you jumped out of bed in the morning ready for a new day. As adults we may have the luxury or doing what we want and when but sometimes that leads us down the path of bad habits with irregular sleep patterns and poor food choices. If you want to start eating and sleeping better one of the best ways to start is to return to your childhood and get into a routine. Here we briefly outline some ways to start an eating and a sleeping routine that will get you back in balance in 2016.
One of the major challenges to healthy eating is a lack of time. When you come home at the end of a long day and find there is nothing worth eating in the fridge you turn to the take away menu, the ready meals or, at worst, the bag of crisps you found hidden at the back of the cupboard. The key to healthy eating is preparation. Choose a day of the week on which you can plan and shop for food for the next 7 days. Make a rough plan of the healthy meals you are going to eat for the week, write a list and do one big weekly shop for the ingredients you need. If you have time you can go one step further and prepare your food for the week in advance. Make Sunday afternoons your preparation day, stick on your favourite tunes and make big batches of meals that can be frozen in portion-size batches ready to defrost and reheat at the end of a long work day. If you make these steps part of your routine you will not only reduce food waste but you will find it much easier to stave off the temptation to graze on unhealthy snacks instead of eating balanced meals.
Sleep is a vital rejuvenator for the brain and the body. Too often we find ourselves calculating how many hours we have left to sleep and despairing when it is fewer than we think we need. One way to stop this is to start a sleep routine. Decide on the time you would like to be asleep at and set a cushion of half an hour or an hour around that. Your ‘bed time’ is the window of time during which you are preparing to sleep and your ‘sleep time’ is the time when you will actually be asleep check our blog on sleep habits. Use your ‘bed time’ as an electronic-free zone in which you relax, read a book or meditate. Try using the PIP for 10 minutes during ‘bed time’ to really settle your mind for sleep. If you it part of your routine that at, for example, 10:30pm you will begin preparing for bed you should increase the number of hours you sleep and the regularity with which you do so.
Incorporate your intentions to eat and sleep better into a firm plan of action by making your good behaviours routine and you will find it easier to take control in 2016.