Sleep is essential to our everyday wellbeing. It is something we need to do to perform to our maximum potential each day. However, a lot of people do not sleep enough or wake up mid sleep cycle and feel groggy for the day ahead.
Why is sleep important?
There are so many benefits to sleep! Sleep can help you maintain a healthy weight as people who sleep more eat fewer calories and the sleep also helps them to digest their food. Sleep can improve concentration and productivity. It can also improve your mental health. Sleep can improve your immune system and help you fight off those colds and sickness bugs.
How much sleep do we need?
Sleeping for 7-9 hours of sleep cycles (the usual is about 90 minutes) is what an average person needs. Waking up mid sleep cycle can be bad for your tiredness throughout the day. This means that if your cycle is 90 minutes long and you slept for 7 and ½ hours then this is more beneficial for you than sleeping for 8 hours. You can get loads of sleeping apps these days that measure your sleep cycle so why not work out what is best for you?
So what can we do to make sure we have a good night’s sleep?
- Don’t look at technology at least 30 minutes before going to bed. Instead, wind down with a book, or take a bath. Find something that will help you relax. Meditation or yoga might also be good.
- Make the bedroom as cosy and comfy as possible. This could include using some lovely bedding, lighting a candle in the evening, spraying the pillow with lavender spray etc.
- Write any thoughts or worries you have just before bed in a little notebook. Use this as your “worry time” and limit it to that time of day only. Then let the worries go if you can.
- If you find waking up to darkness hard then try an alarm clock with a sunrise simulation (I have this one from Philips and it is amazing). The light gradually comes on before your alarm goes off.
- Don’t go to bed on a full or empty stomach. Try to stop eating a few hours before going to sleep.
- Exercise can help you sleep, however try not to exercise at least 4 hours before bedtime.
- Cut back on caffeine and alcohol. These can both disturb a good night’s sleep.
- A temperature between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius is good for sleeping.
- If noise is a problem try ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones.
- Try fitting some thick curtains or black out blinds for extra help.
Have you got any tips for a good night’s sleep?