By Sayeh Woodman — Sleep as we know is essential for health, happiness and well being. But how can we get a better night?s sleep? Sleep can be quite elusive for some. While the rest of the world is drifting into slumber, some of us are left frustratingly awake – tossing and turning through the night, your brain inconveniently reminds you of everything that’s ever gone wrong, worrying as the hours pass by and knowing it will soon be time to rise again. Oh no!
Sleep is important for a number of reasons. It helps us to resolve, replace, and rebuild what we have used during the day.
A restful night sleep increases our creativity and aids our ability to come up with novel solutions to problems, it also helps us to retain information so were less likely to be forgetful.
Sleep is certainly not an indulgence and when we sleep, we empty our stress buckets, that are effectively reduced so we naturally rise in the morning feeling calm. Rested and ready to start the day.
Wishful thinking I hear you say?
Here come the facts about sleep, gathered by a recent survey I had a nosy at and from talking to my doctor friends….We spend 36% of our lives asleep, so if you’re 60 years old you’ll have spent 22 years asleep already. All adults need about eight hours, though on average we only sleep for six and a half.
Teenagers need to at least eight hours and unfortunately on schools night they only get five according to recent survey. Tut tut tut!
Lack of sleep can have a direct impact on our lives and affects our health, happiness, finances and relationships, it affects our mood, memory, reaction times and attitude to rise.
Not sleeping consistently leads to anxiety, low mood, weight gain and hypertension. It’s really worth investing in, if you’re not getting a good nights sleep.
So, how do you sleep well? Here are some tips….Do not drink caffeine after 2pm or our brain will be too weird wired to fall asleep.
Feel calm, make your room your sanctuary a peaceful place or retreat with subdued colours and personalised with things you like, so you feel more connected to the room and look forward to going to bed. Keep you room clutter free.
Make sure the temperature of your room isn’t too hot or cod. Keeping it slightly cool at around 16-18 oC mean you are more likely to slip into sleep. Ensure you keep your room dark, get those thick heavy blinds or even wear an eye mask. Avoid having a TV, computer or ipads in the bedroom and turn off anything with a screen at least half an hour before bed. Screens emit blue light, which suppresses production of the sleep inducing hormone melatonin. Without enough melatonin to make you drowsy you may be staying up too late.
Create a routine when it comes to bedtime. Having a relaxing wind down routine is tremendously helpful, whether it’s a bath, listening to gentle music or reading that allows you to being switching off for the night. Consider a gratitude diary and ten minutes of quiet reflection, mediation or positive visualisation.
Try putting these tips into practice when it comes to bedtime to help you sleep. All that’s left to say is…Night night! Sweet dreams!