Do you get enough sleep?
This week is World Sleep Awareness Week and today marks World Sleep Day which is intended to be a celebration of sleep and to raise awareness on important issues related to sleep.
Some boast that they are able to function on only 4-5 hours of sleep but this eventually leads to burn out in later years.
Personally, I'm unable to function without a good night's sleep of at least eight hours and I have began to notice that as I get older, it has become harder for me to carry out day to day activities on very little sleep.
So why is sleep so important?
We all take sleep for granted and usually fail to understand that it is fundamental to our health, well-being and safety and that it helps us to achieve our personal, family and professional goals.
As humans, we are conditioned to sleep for longer, unfortunately, our lifestyle choices and hectic schedules also dictate how much sleep we get. So how about we take decisive action whereby we ourselves make the conscious decision to get enough sleep instead of allowing our lifestyles to make that decision for us? Here are our Top 5 Tips for a Good Night Sleep.
1. Unwind before going to bed
It is important to have a bedtime ritual as winding down is a very important stage in preparing to sleep.
A warm bath or relaxation exercises such as light yoga stretches help our body and muscles to relax. Listening to calm, soothing music or reading a book also help to relax the mind.
I find that a warm cup of chamomile tea and a night time beauty routine before bed helps me to relax also.
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2. Put all devices away 1 hour before going to bed
Watching TV, playing on game consoles and scrolling though Social Media just before going to bed over stimulates our brain and make it harder for us to relax. So it is best to put all devices away and refrain from watching TV at least 1 hour before going to bed.
I have been trying to enforce this with my children as I have noticed that they would be more tired in the morning after being on their devices for too long before going to bed. Mind you they are only allowed this leisure on the weekends but I am now enforcing this new rule for their own well-being.
3. Make your bedroom your sanctuary
Your bedroom should be a relaxing environment free of TVs, electronic devices and anything that could distract you from sleep and relaxation. It should be clutter free and tidy. Make it comfy, cosy and the place you want to be when it is time to sleep. Also it is recommended that bedrooms should be at a temperature of between 18C and 24C to ensure a restful sleep.
Candles, room sprays and diffusers with essential oils help to create a relaxed atmosphere.
4. Establish a Regular Sleep Pattern
Keeping to regular sleeping hours programs our brain and our internal body clock to get used to a set routine.
Most of us need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep every night. So we can establish a regular bedtime schedule by knowing what time we need to wake up and ensuring that we are getting the recommended hours of sleep we need to function.
5. Mindfulness Exercises
Sometimes it is just hard to fall asleep despite trying our best to follow a routine and this could be for many reasons. We could be anxious or stressed about something or just a bit restless.
I find that breathing exercises help in these situations.
Take a deep breathe in through your nose and count to four. Then release the breath slowly trough your mouth for four counts. Repeat 3 to 4 times. Then simply concentrate on your breathing and the sound of your breath. Try to concentrate and notice the soles of your feet, toes, legs, fingers, palms, arms, shoulders and head. Then relax and lie in silence.
There are lots of Mindfulness books available filled with great advice, tips and exercises.
I hope that you have found these 5 Tips useful. Do let us know if you do!
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