New research shows only 5% of people sleep soundly and get adequate sleep every night with 65% consistently suffering from disturbed sleep and 35% suffering reduced memory as a result.1
It is now well documented that sleep deprivation has a significant impact on individuals day-to-day lives, affecting general health, relationships and even safety. As such, it is vital you get sufficient sleep. Here are some tried and tested tips to get you some better (and longer) shut-eye:
1) Keep in sync with your body’s natural circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle)
Keeping in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle (also known as circadian rhythm) is very important for a good night’s sleep. When keeping a consistent sleep-wake routine you will feel much more rested and revitalised than if you sleep the same hours at different times.
Here are some tips to help you maintain a sleep-wake cycle:
- Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. This helps set your body’s internal clock and increase the quality of your sleep.
- If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without the need of an alarm. If you need an alarm clock, you might need to get to bed earlier.
- Avoid sleeping in (even on weekends). The more your sleep times differ, the worse the jetlag-like symptoms you’ll feel. If you need more sleep due to a late night previously, try a daytime nap rather than sleeping in. This allows you to rid your sleep debt without disturbing your natural sleep-wake rhythm.
- Nap smart. If you find falling asleep or staying asleep at night an issue, napping can increase the issue. Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes early in the afternoon.
2) Pay attention to what you eat and drink
This one might be obvious but nicotine, caffeine and alcohol should be taken with caution, too. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can severely decrease your quality sleep. Even though alcohol can make you feel sleepy, it commonly disrupt sleep throughout the night.
3) Create a restful environment
Create a room that’s ideal for sleeping. Make sure it’s cool, dark and quiet. Exposure to light can increase cortisol in the body keeping you awake for longer. Avoid use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime. You might want to use shades, earplugs, air-con or other devices to create an optimal sleeping environment.
4) Calm yourself prior to bedtime
Doing calming activities before bedtime, like taking a warm bath or using relaxation techniques like Yoga, may help promote quality sleep.
5) Exercise daily
Vigorous exercise is highly beneficial, but even light exercise is better than nothing. Exercise at any time of day, but not too close to your bedtime.
6) Be aware of snoring conditions
Many people are unaware they may be suffering from snoring and sleep apnoea which can be hugely detrimental to sleep quality. Nurse Jenny Burns consults with individuals suffering from snoring and sleep apnoea daily and explains “once these issues are addressed with GynaeLase, patients experience a much better quality of life.” Learn more about GynaeLase here and what causes the snoring and sleep apnoea condition here.