It's the golden grail of healthy living, yet many of us struggle to grasp it on a regular basis. The more we focus on it, the more we think about it, the harder it can be to ensure we get enough of it to keep us focused and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed day after day after day.
Just like regular exercise and a healthy diet, getting enough good, quality sleep is up there with the most important ways to look after your health and wellbeing. So as we approach World Sleep Day, let's take a look at why sleep is important and just how we can make sure we get enough of the good stuff to stay healthy in body and mind.
Benefits of a good night’s sleep
When you sleep well, you feel well. Regular, good quality sleep helps to improve numerous elements of our physical and mental wellbeing and studies have shown that better sleep is associated with:
- Improved immune system
- Lowers stress levels
- Improves academic achievement
- Better memory and ability to concentrate
- Healthier heart and circulatory system
- More positive mental health
- Good skin, nails and hair
It’s been demonstrated that creating a good sleep routine, with regular waking times, improves these health conditions for all of, regardless of age.
How do I Improve my Sleep Quality?
When it comes to the science of sleep, there’s a wealth of information about how circadian rhythms, environment, stress, medications and hormones play their part in the complicated process of simply getting a good night’s sleep.
In short, the best sleep comes when we can create a healthy sleep routine and try to follow these top 10 tips.
Ten Tips for Sleeping Well
- Fix a bedtime and an awakening time.
- If you are in the habit of taking a nap, do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep.
- Avoid excessive alcohol ingestion 4 hours before bedtime and do not smoke.
- Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate.
- Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable.
- Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.
- Use comfortable bedding such as cervical pillow or a comfortable ripple mattress topper.
- Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated.
- Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible.
- Don’t use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room.
We hope these tips will help to improve your sleep quality but it you continue to have trouble sleeping we recommend that you consult your GP who can rule out any underlying issues that could be affecting your ability to sleep well.
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