Why getting enough sleep in important

We spend roughly 1/3rd of our day doing it, it's as natural as eating, drinking and breathing - but why is it important to make sure we are getting enough of it?

It's recommended that we get 7-8 hours of sleep a day.

But like most things, it's as much about the quality of our sleep as well as the quantity. It's estimated around 30% of the UK population will at some point in the year struggle with sleeping issues. Unfortunately the proportion of people suffering with sleeping issues is increasing in the UK; which isn't necessarily a surprise considering all the uncertainly we have all be experiencing over the last few years from the pandemic and economic uncertainty.

Perhaps more than ever, getting enough sleep has become important for both our own mental and physical wellbeing.

Benefits of a good night's sleep

Getting enough sleep can have a positive impact on

  • Physical performance - Improved sense of accuracy, speed and reaction time
  • Mental health - Enhanced memory, concentration and productivity

If these are some of the benefits of sleeping, it certainly makes it being worth something we should focus on.

As with many of our LifeTonic's, small inremental changes can make a difference to our daily life; without having to spend more money to achieve positive results.

Risk of not getting enough sleep

  • Reduced motivation to exercise
  • Increased risk of weight gain
  • Enhanced risk of heart disease or stroke
  • Likelihood of suffering from mental health issues such as depression
  • Reduced ability to notice emotional queues around you
  • More susceptible to picking up colds and coughs in the winter

Tips to help you get more or better sleep

  • Expose yourself to natural sunlight throughout the day
  • Fit in some exercise in during the day (not too close to going to bed)
  • Get into a routine of when you wake up or go to sleep
  • Set the room temperature of around 20 degrees in the bedroom
  • Have a hot bath (or shower) before going to bed to relax the mind and body
  • Do something to relax before going to bed; reading, listen to a podcast for example
  • Reduce your caffeine after lunchtime
  • Alcohol may help you get to sleep, but it can reduce the quality of the sleep
  • Turn your 'blue' screen off before going to bed - leave the phone, ipad or laptop downstairs
  • Don't eat too late so the body isn't trying to process the food whilst you are trying to get to sleep

I'm sure you have come across many of the tips above, but hope they will act as a prompt or a reminder for you.

Try out some of the tips above and find out what works best for you.

Have a great night's sleep!

(I appreciate that none of us probably look like this when we are sleeping, but I was not given permission to show Shannon sleeping on the blog!)