Sleep, I’m sure most of us would like a bit more of this from time to time.
Not having to get up when that 6:30am alarm drains your morning. I doubt I’m not the only one guilty of the ‘five more minutes’ curse. Is that really such a bad thing?
The National Sleep Foundation states that sleep is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing. Yet not enough of us are getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night. With statistics from The Sleep Council finding that a third of people get significantly less and more report a disturbed sleeping pattern.
But what happens when we don’t get a regular decent nights sleep?
Well apart from the obvious; bad mood, droopy eyes and fatigue as the initial penalties.
A poor sleeping pattern can increase the risk of serious medical conditions including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and a shortened life expectancy.
The NHS also published ways in which a good night’s sleep can be positive. These include; boosting immunity, increasing sex drive and improving mental wellbeing.
Isn’t that reason enough to treat ourselves to an extra hours kip? It is concerning that The Great British Bedtime Report found that almost half of British people blame stress or worry for keeping them awake at night. In addition to this, 1 in 10 people consult their doctor due to sleeping poorly. 30% of people have reported taking medication in an attempt to relieve the problem.
There are different lifestyle factors which individuals can adopt to aid a better nights sleep;
An important key factor is sparing time to relax and unwind at night. A big influence would be putting down the gadgets. In a world obsessed with technology we have become accustomed to taking our phones, tablets, laptops everywhere with us, including the bedroom!
Research has found that the bright lights can interfere with our circadian rhythm (body clock). This stops our bodies secreting melatonin aka the ‘sleep hormone’.
The report also found that exercising 5 – 6 times a week can improve sleep. This also has other beneficial effects for general health and wellbeing.
Other lifestyle choices could include meditating, a natural remedy provoking a relaxing state. Focusing on the present moment without drifting concerns about ones day or future. This may be particularly beneficial for those who suffer from work related stress.
Individuals also find listening to calming music as a positive way to unwind. Many networks such as Spotify or Apple Music now have various playlists to help the mind drift into a dreamy state.
So, there really is plenty of positives to catch some ZZZ’s (guilt free!).