Why Sleep matters

The 19th March is World Sleep Day

The pandemic effected people in different ways. Stress levels rose for most and as a result sleep was, and for some, still is impacted. Now that it is over, what can you do to help yourself if you are still affected?

A good nights sleep has many benefits, just like regular exercise and a healthy diet. This blog looks at how to improve your sleep pattern and tips for a good nights sleep.

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 can:

• Help to keep your heart healthy.

• Keep your immune system strong.

• Assists with your emotional wellbeing.

• Benefit your mental health.

• Reduces your stress levels.

• Improve 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 (especially at the weekends), although during lockdown those late nights out seemed like a distant memory.

There are many benefits to following the same routine. Your brain learns that this is time to relax and you start to wind down naturally, which in turn, hopefully means you drift off into a deep slumber. If possible, try to:

  • 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.

  • Write down a ‘to do’ list for the next day as this will help you feel organised, reduce distraction (your mind racing with things you need to do) and reduce any anxious feelings. 

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

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

  • Not 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, may seem obvious but that cup of tea of G&T may be stopping you from nodding off.

  • Do some yoga or stretching exercises before hitting the sack.

  • Read a book, listen to a calming 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.

If stress is the cause of you not sleeping, why not try our stress awareness course? This looks at various aspects of life and may 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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