Sleep is one of those things we don’t often think about until it feels like we’re not getting enough (caregivers of young children - We’re thinking of you!).
Let's chat - What exactly is ‘enough’ sleep?
Although the recommended amount of sleep varies a lot depending on your age, with newborns needing up to 17 hours in a 24 hour period and that declining to around seven hours once you’re over 65, the right amount of sleep varies for everybody. If you’re feeling energetic, are able to concentrate, feel happy and are able to get through your day without looking for sugar or caffeine hits, chances are you’re getting the sleep you need.
Does this sound familiar?
If you’re unable to concentrate, feeling unhappy, reaching for sugar and caffeine to get through the day and wake up feeling sluggish to see tired eyes in the mirror then there’s a good chance you’re not getting enough sleep. There are many recommendations on how to improve your sleep. Here are our top 10 tips.
Our Top 10 Tips
1. An oldie but a goodie we’ve found works; turn off screens at least one hour (ideally two) before bed to help your brain switch off. Putting our phones on airplane mode is a favourite in the Kez’s office.
2. Adopt a short bedtime routine to signal to your body when it’s time to rest. We like to have a short shower, enjoy a soothing cup of tea and read a good book for 15-20 minutes.
3. If possible, head to bed at the same time most nights. We say most as we know life happens and this isn’t always possible!
4. Try calming music or guided meditations to help you relax before bed.
5. Try slow breathing exercises – there are many guides available online.
6. Make sure you’re well hydrated and have eaten properly throughout the day to avoid waking up thirsty or with a grumbling tummy.
7. Try getting some extra activity into your day, whether it’s intentional exercise or just parking further away when visiting the shops, to help you feel more tired.
8. If you work indoors all day, try to get outside into daylight for 20 minutes. On those really crazy days we like taking our laptop outside for a bit of fresh air.
9. Check your mattress, especially if you’re waking up stiff and sore. It might be time for an upgrade or, if that’s not possible, a new padded mattress topper to increase comfort. Same goes for your pillow.
10. Finally, and most importantly, have a chat with your doctor. Although the simple tips above have helped us, your doctor knows you and your medical history and they’ll have the right tools and knowledge to help you as quickly as possible.
We hope you’re getting enough sleep but if you’re not and it’s affecting your day-to-day, please seek help and don’t let it go on for too long.