In today's world, sleep - or lack of it, is one of the most common health complaints we experience, with just 1 in 10 of us saying we always sleep well, 1 in 5 suffering from lack of sleep, and 2 in 3 saying we get less sleep now than we did a few years ago.
Views as to how much sleep we need vary; eight hours is often the accepted amount of sleep required, however some of us need less sleep and some of us more. An easy way to look upon sleep - is to have enough to feel refreshed in the morning and stay awake and alert throughout the day.
Tips to Sleep Well
- Consistently sleeping at regular hours really can help. Your body will become programmed to sleep better if you go to bed and get up at roughly the same time - as often as you can!
- Your bedroom should not be at an ambient sleeping temperature - not too warm or cold. Your bedroom should also be as dark and peaceful as possible in order to create a restful sleeping environment.
- A comfortable bed is crucial to helping you sleep well. Deep & restful sleep can be difficult on a bed that is too soft or hard, too small or generally a bed that is too old and tired.
- Exercising after a hard day can help take away the strains of the day and promote better sleep.
- Too much food and/or alcohol - epsecially late at night can really disrupt restful sleep patterns. Alcohol may assist you falling asleep initially, but later in the night will interrupt your sleep.
- Stimulant drinks such as tea and coffee should be cut down on - especially in the evening as caffeine interferes with falling asleep and gaining deep sleep. Hot milky drinks before bed are far more suited.
- Smokers often take longer to fall asleep, awake more frequently and generally experience more sleep disruption.
- Feeling relaxed before going to bed is crucial to attaining a good night's sleep. Clearing your head by channelling your worries or workload into a list to tackle the next day can help restful sleep. Relax both your body and mind with a restful activity before going to sleep - have a warm bath or listen to some quiet music.
- If you are finding it hard to get to sleep and are awake in the middle of the night lieing there endlessly, you shouldn't stay in bed but get up and find something to do that is relaxing until you feel sleepy again then try going back to sleep again. You shouldn't lie in bed worrying about getting to sleep!
Sleeping Tips for Clubbers!
- Knowing you have got a lengthy weekend of partying ahead, it is possible to maintain your natural body clock by tunning into your own sleep with "anchor sleep". Attempt to have a minimum of four hours sleep simultaneously every night and morning for example 3am to 7am. This helps to keep your current sleep clock regular.
- If you plan on staying out well into the early morning hours, a couple of hours snoozing before you go out will help you feel more alert and ready to party.
- It can also pay to “store up” on extra sleep before a weekend of late night partying. Extra sleep over the couple of nights before to your big night out can make your body slightly more resilient to any sleep deprivation.
- After a heavy weekend, you should use the end of the weekend/early part of the week to get in some “recovery” sleep in order to catch up on any sleep lost over the weekends' festivities. Younger people need less recovery sleep to catch up with sleep lost.
- Ensure that you drink plenty of water, both when out and before going to sleep. Alcohol may relax you or knock you out! ..Allowing you to sleep, but it can be seriously unhelpful to a good night’s sleep. As well as being seriously dehydrated, you don’t breathe as well and your sleep is more broken because of your brain reacting against being unconscious. Plenty of water intake will also seriously improve how you feel in the morning too!
Remember that recreational drugs can seriously effect the quality of your sleep.
- Remember sleeplessness leads to poor concentration, thinking, memory, increased irritability and hostility. Alcohol magnifies these effects.
You Should Consult Your Doctor If:
- You think you're getting enough sleep but still feel very tired during the day.
- you fall asleep during mid conversation, activity or during meals
- Your partner is regularly disturbed by your snoring, sleep talking or walking - or if there is any evidence of sleep walking in your house when you awake in the morning.
- You thrash about a lot while asleep
- You've started or changed any medication and found your sleep affected
- These are other tell-tale signs of various sleep disorders