September marks the start of our annual awareness campaign, Sleeptember, and in celebration of the month, Lisa Artis Deputy CEO of The Sleep Charity lets us in on the secrets of a good night’s sleep…
A good night’s sleep really the answer to feeling and looking your best. People go to huge amounts of time and expense to eat well and exercise regularly but without a good night’s sleep all that effort will be in vain.
With research telling us that a third of us now sleep for just five-to-six hours a night, it’s imperative that we start focusing on sleeping better. It is a basic and fundamental human requirement and is vitally important for good physical, mental and emotional health as well as crucial for memory, learning and growth.
While it’s common to have the odd poor night’s sleep, if you’ve started to regularly suffer it’s time to go back to basics and look at what could be affecting your sleep.
For example, take a look at your sleep environment and how you can improve it, put the smartphone/tablet down before bed and practice better relaxation techniques or invest in a new bed. Seek out ways to improve your lifestyle - small changes can have a huge impact on your sleep quality and quantity. Overhaul your diet, caffeine and alcohol consumption and exercise regime. And if you still can’t work out what’s stopping you sleeping, why not keep a sleep diary? All simple ideas that could make for a better you this September and beyond.
Remember, there are four R’s for good sleep:
Regularity – going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time, all the time, programmes your body to sleep better.
Routine – routines associated with sleep signal the brain to wind down. Think relaxing bubble baths, soothing scents, warm milky drinks etc.
Restful sleeping environment – your bedroom should be kept for rest and sleep and it should be neither too hot, nor too cold; and as quiet and dark as possible.
Right bed – make sure your bed is comfortable. It’s difficult to get deep, restful sleep on one that’s too soft, too hard, too small or too old. Make it inviting with beautiful bedding too.