Sleep – five tips to get enough

Five strategies to help you get enough shut-eye and keep you healthy.

Sleep – five tips to get enough

Sleep pays a crucial role in your health and wellbeing. Quality is key, and getting enough of good quality sleep can be a struggle for many. But it’s worth pursuing the cause for one’s mental and physical welfare.

So how much zzzs do you need? If you’re well versed on the subject, you’ll know that for all adults, sleep experts recommend 7–8 hours each night. Of course, the amount of shut-eye you need can also depend on other factors, such as whether you have inconsistent sleep patterns, are sleep deprived (which means you have a sleep debt) or get up during the night.

Researchers have found that without adequate hours of slumber over many nights, people aren’t as mentally sharp as those who have closer to seven hours; this means, they take longer to perform tasks, make decisions, have a slower reaction time and make more mistakes. This also applies to anyone who feels rested even only after a few hours of shut-eye each night.

So, what can you do if you’re simply not getting enough sleep? Here are five strategies to give a whirl, if you haven’t already.

1. Go to bed and wake up the same time each day. While challenging, be as consistent as you can to keep the same sleep schedule each day; otherwise, your body clock (circadian rhythm) will be out of whack, affecting your quality of sleep. Also, avoid hitting the snooze button on your alarm; it’ll only make you groggy.

2. Dim the lights. An hour before bed, avoid bright, artificial light – especially the blue light from devices and computers, as studies have proved it signals the brain to stay awake.

3. Create a bedtime routine. Use the hour before bed as quite time. Avoid doing anything strenuous or eating heavy meals before bed. Instead, do things which help you to relax and send a message to your body that sleep is around the corner. Having a bath, drinking a cup of chamomile tea, brushing your teeth and doing relaxation techniques (e.g. meditation, gentle stretching and breathing exercises) are just a few ideas.

4. Set up your bedroom for a good night’s sleep. Keep your bedroom quiet, cool and dark. This means no TV or devices in the room. If needed, a dim night-light is ok.

5. Set up your day for a good night’s sleep. Spend some time outside when possible, and be physically active. Avoid caffeine from the early afternoon, as the effects of caffeine can last for up to eight hours.

A word or two on napping: Napping during the day can help to boost alertness and performance, especially if you are sleep deprived. Usually, no more than 20 minutes is recommended. However, if you have trouble falling asleep at night, try limiting naps or taking them earlier in the day.

Read more at the Sleep Health Foundation and at YourLifeChoices. 

How much sleep do you feel you need? Do you have trouble sleeping? What helps you to fall asleep?





    COMMENTS

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    particolor
    9th Feb 2015
    2:18pm
    ZZzzzzzzzzzz ! RIIIIING ! :-(
    pate
    9th Feb 2015
    3:45pm
    Well said Parti...
    particolor
    9th Feb 2015
    6:55pm
    Sais it All !! :-)
    Cheezil61
    9th Feb 2015
    8:30pm
    Once again, no mention of shift work ..I do althernating shift work-dayshift x 2 then maybe one day off then 3 nights, etc erratically & this wreeks havoc on circadian rythym as you can imagine...thus I tend to only sleep 5 -6 hours per 24hrs max (often less than this on nightshift, no matter what I try!) & this is wearing me down of course!
    Changing jobs is not an option...Suggestions?
    Alula
    6th Mar 2015
    6:26pm
    All the years I did night shifts I'd never get more than five hours sleep a day. Feels like there's sand in your eyes all the time. If I had to do it now, I'd try sleeping pills.
    particolor
    6th Mar 2015
    8:23pm
    Same Here ! And then I woke up it WAS sand in My eyes !! :-( I used to get drunk after Night Shift and Collapse on the Beach !!
    BERRYUPSET
    27th Jul 2018
    1:37pm
    HI CHEEZIL RE NIGHT SHIFT...READ`WHY WE SLEEP` $20 EXCELLENT STUFF ALSO ABOUT NIGHT SHIFT and the effects on health etc!
    hope this helps
    B/W
    AL
    BERRYUPSET
    27th Jul 2018
    1:37pm
    HI CHEEZIL RE NIGHT SHIFT...READ`WHY WE SLEEP` $20 EXCELLENT STUFF ALSO ABOUT NIGHT SHIFT and the effects on health etc!
    hope this helps
    B/W
    AL
    Blossom
    9th Feb 2015
    10:42pm
    I am such a light sleeper that most noises disturb me. When my niece was a small baby and having night feeds I would wake up and hear her while she was wriggilng around as she was waking up nd pick her up before she cried so as not to wake her Grandma up.
    PlanB
    17th Mar 2017
    11:39am
    I am a 4 hour sleeper no more
    particolor
    17th Mar 2017
    8:45pm
    6 Maybe 7 Here !! :-)
    Anonymous
    19th Mar 2017
    4:31pm
    8 minimum

    9 in winter

    15 if hungover
    particolor
    19th Mar 2017
    8:32pm
    "Do I hear 16 ?" :-) :-)
    Anonymous
    19th Mar 2017
    10:43pm
    16 if the girlfriends sleeping over and wants to cuddle all night and day on a cold winter weekend
    particolor
    20th Mar 2017
    5:52pm
    Sounds GOOD to me !!:-) Send Er over !! :-) :-)
    BERRYUPSET
    27th Jul 2018
    1:33pm
    jUST READ `WHY WE SLEEP` GREAT READ if you`re into the benefits!
    i used to wake up mornings feeling tired grumpy and with little energy!
    Doc sent me to a sleep specialist to have my sleep measured....75% SLEEP PLUS 38 APNOEAS per hour
    (STOP BREATHING-BRAIN WAKES YOU UP).GOT ON A CPAP machine (bit hard to useat first)now been on it every night for 3 months SLEEP 8/9 HRS A NIGHT 1-2 APNOEAS PER HR FEEL FANTASTIC `EVERY `MORNING NOW!YIPEEEEEE(I` TURNED 80 THIS YEAR!


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