Why Sleep matters

The 19th March is World Sleep Day

On average most adults need between 6 -9 hours sleep a night, but this can vary. Margaret Thatcher famously said she only needed 4 hours sleep a night. Margaret Thatcher famously said she only needed 4 hours sleep a night.


A good nights sleep has many benefits just like regular exercise and a healthy diet, it can:


• Help to keep your heart healthy.

• Keep your immune system strong.

• Assists with your emotional wellbeing.

• Benefits your mental health.

• Reduces your stress levels.

• Improves concentration and levels of attention..

Tips for a good nights sleep

Do you have a routine before you go to sleep? Few people manage to stick to bedtime routines (such is life) Although during lockdown those late nights out seem a distant memory. There are many benefits on following the same routine, it programs your brain that this is time to relax and hopefully drift off into a deep slumber.

  • Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time.

  • Make sure your bedtime allows for an adequate amount of sleep. If you have to be up at 7, you need to be asleep by midnight at the latest.

  • Try writing down a to do list for the next day, this will help you feel organised, reduce distraction (mind racing of things to do) and reduce any anxious feelings. 

  • Half an hour before bed turn down the lights and turn off any devices (Facebook can wait til the morning).

  • Have a warm shower or bed, put on your PJs and get comfy.

  • Don’t eat late, if you are peckish have a light snack, but try to have this an hour before you go to bed.

  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before your bedtime, obvious but that cup of tea of G and T may be stopping you from nodding off.

  • Some people find benefits to yoga stretching exercises before hitting the sack.

  • Try reading a book, listening to a relaxing CD, or a relaxing podcast.

  • Ensure your bedroom is quiet and relaxing, this includes lighting (consider backout blinds if you have a streetlight outside your window or a sleep mask), make sure the temperature isn’t too hot or cold.

Your bedtime routine is about what works for you but readying your mind that now is the time to sleep will help you drop off, give it a go.


If stress is the cause of you not sleeping why not try our stress awareness course, this will look at various aspects of your life and perhaps help you to identify what is keeping you awake at night.


There are also some temporary situations when you're at more risk of DVT. These include if you:

• Are staying in or recently left hospital – especially if you cannot move around much (like after an operation).

• Are confined to bed.

• Go on a long journey (more than 3 hours) by plane, car or train.

• Are pregnant or if you've had a baby in the previous 6 weeks.

• Are dehydrated.


What can you do?

Your bedtime routine is about what works for you but readying your mind that now is the time to sleep will help you drop off, give it a go.


If stress is the cause of you not sleeping why not try our stress awareness course, this will look at various aspects of your life and perhaps help you to identify what is keeping you awake at night.



Sleepstation has lots of information on sleep and insomnia.



About the author

Our lives run at such a fast pace these days and everything is mobile – banking, bookings, our social lives! What about learning? Learning takes place in so many ways, every day of your life you learn new things. That's why I love working at The National Training Academy, we can make a real difference.


A bit about me...

A couple of years ago I took the plunge and moved to the coast in North Wales, not knowing anyone, not knowing the area it was a real leap of faith, but it was the best move ever! Through lockdown it has been great, having beaches and mountains on my doorstep I'm truly blessed. The great outdoors is one of lives simple pleasures.


In my spare time I love riding my Triumph Tiger (there's a growing number of female motorcyclists out there!). I love cooking, lockdown has given me the opportunity and time to try many new recipes, curries seem to have become a special favourite. 

Author: Claire Arthur


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