It was recently Sleep Awareness Week in Australia and it caused me to stop and think about sleep. Something we tend to take for granted when it’s coming easily to us but also something that can be very distressing and health impacting when it evades us.
Humans tend to spend almost one third of their life sleeping, meaning that most of us spend 8 hours a day and 3,000 hours per year asleep. Sleeping helps keep us feel energised both mentally and physically and is crucial in maintaining our health and wellbeing, however, 63.1% of people are unhappy with the amount of sleep they get with only 8% of people saying that they always wake up feeling refreshed (Dreams UK Sleep survey 2016).
Sleeping well, however, is a habit that we can learn and improve on, with some small changes having a big effect. While some people are affected by more serious sleep disorders (Insomnia anyone?) for the many, following some of the tips below will help to improve your sleep and reduce the curse of the late night tossing and turning.
Being mindful of what we are eating and drinking:
- Try not to have drinks containing caffeine after 4pm
- Avoid eating large or spicy meals late in the evening
- Don’t go to bed hungry
- Avoid alcohol wherever possible as it can interfere with sleep
- Light exercise in the late afternoon/early evening helps to make your body tired and prepared for sleep
- Try and strictly keep your sleeping to night time, as day time naps will make getting to sleep later harder, however tired you are!
Make your Bedroom a sanctuary:
- Invest in some nice pillows
- Keep it neat and tidy
- Try putting some Lavender oil onto the pillows
- Make sure your home is secure before going to bed
Keep your bed for sleeping:
- If you find that you can’t sleep after 30 minutes of trying, get out of bed and focus on something else for 15 minutes, such as reading or listening to music (try and avoid over stimulations with TV or a smart phone). Then return to bed but keep repeating the process if you are still unable to sleep after a further 30 minutes.
Develop a regular bed time routine:
- Having a soothing (non caffeinated) tea before bed
- Have a washing routine (a calming bath before bed)
- Try to stick to the same bed time each night and try and wake up at the same time too
- Practice gratitude exercises once in bed – reflect on 5 positives things that have happened that day
- Take a few moments to focus on 10 deep slow breaths
Should you continue to have sleepless times and find it increasingly difficult to fall asleep or get a good nights sleep, it is important to consult your local GP, as there could be other underlying factors affecting your sleep.
Happy sleeping from the team at Pure Insights 🙂