Sleep Wellness | Tips for Better Sleep
We all know that a good diet and plenty of exercise are important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but more people than not underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep.
In order to help your body function at its best, you need proper sleep. Sleep is vital to sustain, grow and repair your body and a solid 8 hours a day is the golden rule for adults.
People who don’t get enough sleep can be affected on a daily basis by:
- Impaired memory and concentration
- Increased risk of accidents at home and work
- Daytime tiredness
- Higher incidences of stress
Sleep problems can be caused by just one or a combination of factors. Take a minute to consider the following:
- Does it take you a long time to fall asleep?
- Do you toss and turn all night?
- Do you often wake up feeling stiff and sore?
- Do you feel tired when you get out of bed in the morning?
- Do you suffer from daytime sleepiness?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, try some of these tips below.
Practical tips to improve your sleep:
1. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine that will allow you to unwind and send a “signal” to your brain that it’s time to sleep
2. Maintain a regular sleep-wake cycle, even on weekends. The temptation may be to sleep in, but a regular waking time in the morning strengthens the circadian clock and can help with falling asleep at night.
3. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol in the late afternoon and evening. Caffeine and nicotine can delay your sleep, and alcohol may interrupt your sleep later in the night.
4. Exercise regularly, but do so at least 3 hours before bedtime.
5. If you have trouble sleeping when you go to bed don’t nap during the day, since it affects your ability to sleep at night.
6. Keep your room temperature between 16-18oC
7. Consider your sleep environment. Make it as pleasant, comfortable, dark, cool and quiet as you can.
8. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses.
9. If you can’t go to sleep after 30 minutes, don’t stay in bed tossing and turning. Get up and pursue a relaxing activity, such as listening to soothing music or reading, until you feel sleepy.
10. Your bed is made for sleeping - avoid taking work to bed with you, or watching TV.