When we talk about being healthy we often forget that a good nights sleep is essential when it comes to our health and well being. Being unable to sleep properly is generally an indication that all is not well in our lives and that we need to slow down and look at ways to improve our sleeping patterns. The Sleep Council explains that, ‘Sleep is the mysterious shift in consciousness that our bodies require every day’. If we don’t manage to sleep, ‘it can lead to long-term health problems.’ Most of us need between six and nine hours sleep at night and this is best maintained by a regular bedtime routine. What we do before we sleep is just as important as the bed we sleep in and the clothes we wear to bed.
It is very easy to slip into the habit of watching the television, sitting in front of a computer screen or surfing the net on smart phones before going to bed. If you have difficulty sleeping, you should refrain from using these gadgets before bedtime because the light coming off them is confusing your brain. It is very easy to get into a vicious cycle if you have a job that demands that you work in the evenings in front of a screen to switch off sufficiently to enable you to sleep well. A bad night’s sleep will cause the next day to be more stressful which in turn will make sleeping difficult and you will descend into a negative spiral of sleep deprivation and stress.
The NHS Choices website suggests that you make your bedroom an extremely pleasant environment that is only used for sleep and sex. Apparently sex makes you sleepy, so there is no better excuse for engaging in carnal pleasures – just make sure that it is not after you have spent a night on the booze and it is three o’clock in the morning. Studies have shown that children’s sleep is disturbed when there is a smart phone in their room so make sure that all smart phones are off and switch off the WiFi – it may help you to sleep well too.
Invest in a new mattress or bed – you will be amazed at the difference a new one makes, add sift furnishings, calm wall paper, relaxing pictures and dim the lights and start your bedtime routine. Have a nice warm bath, put on a nice comfortable pair of pyjamas – these bottoms from Calvin Klein and t-shirt from Calvin Klein are soft and comfortable and will help your body to remain at a nice comfortable ambient temperature.
If you have a crazy cat either let them go out at night or lock them in another room out of the way because they have the tendency to pester and purr loudly when you are trying to get to sleep.
This Extract from NHS Choices really sums up the best way to approach a sleeping problem –
Winding down is a critical stage in preparing for bed. There are many ways of relaxing:
- A warm bath (not hot) will help your body reach a temperature that’s ideal for rest.
- Writing “to do” lists for the next day can organise your thoughts and clear your mind of any distractions.
- Relaxation exercises, such as light yoga stretches, help to relax the muscles. Don’t exercise vigorously, as it will have the opposite effect.
- Relaxation CDs work by using a carefully narrated script, gentle hypnotic music and sound effects to relax the listener.
- Reading a book or listening to the radio relaxes the mind by distracting it.
“Everyone will have their own way of relaxing,” says Alexander. “If you don’t know how to relax, you can get help and advice from your GP.”
The main message where sleeping is concerned is to make sure that you live your life in a healthy and careful way so that your body clock can readjust and sleep will come to you naturally.