Heart health - the final part of the puzzle

So far we've looked at a few things that can help with heart health, for various reasons:

  • cardio exercise - strengthens the heart and lungs
  • strength exercise - lowers blood pressure
  • Pilates/yoga/mobility - reducing stiffness in the upper body, which will reduce arterial stiffness

The final part to consider is - relaxation, stress management and sleep

Insomnia at midlife can raise a woman's risk of a heart attack by 70%

Exercising can help with stress reduction, relaxation and sleep - just don't exercise strenuously too close to bedtime

And having a bedtime ritual can be helpful too.  Any of these may be useful:

  • promote the natural cooling of the body by having a warm bath/shower
  • magnesium spray
  • camomile tea
  • slow breathing and relaxation exercises
  • alcohol will affect the quality of your sleep, so is worth bearing in mind
  • limit using screens to access things that will tend to wake you up

The interesting thing about screen use is that it is not necessarily so much about the light from it.  And in fact if you get more natural light in the daytime, it can offset your use of artificial light before bed

But it is about how alert it is making the brain

So reading a book on a Kindle may not be as wakening for you as scrolling through social media or even watching a nail-biting programme - which I know for me often shows up as stress on my tracker!

And speaking of trackers - logging my sleep on my Garmin watch, and seeing how bad it was when I thought I was sleeping ok, stressed me out.  So I no longer take much notice of it.  And in fact, none of them are recommended by the Sleep Federation because they are not sensitive enough to tell the whole story

Because stressing about not sleeping was what was keeping me awake.

It's not being awake that is the problem - it's the stress about not sleeping

And it's worth noting that a bi-phasic sleep pattern is normal - so waking up, whether to go to the loo or not, is fine.  You just want to try to stay in a relaxed state until you are ready to go back to sleep again

I still find focusing on my breathing one of the best ways to get back to sleep

Here's three other ways I can help you with relaxation:

1.  Come to a Pilates or Trigger Point Pilates class - I'm always told classmates sleep better after a class

2.  Buy my Beyond Meditation Masterclass or Hot Water Bottle Release and Relaxation session

Beyond Meditation

Hot Water Bottle Release and Relaxation Session

3. Grab a few ideas from my YouTube channel:




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