Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Relaxation Tip 6 - Get some sleep

If you're feeling overloaded, sleep may be the first thing you let go.  Don't.   (David Algeo RobertsonCooper)

Although the jury is out on how many hours of sleep the average adult needs, with many experts believing there is no magic number, if pushed 7.5 to 9hours is often seen as a good starting point.  Obviously some of us need more to keep functioning effectively and some of us can get away with less, at least in the short term.  However, we shouldn't overlook the relationship between regularly getting a good night's sleep and being able to cope effectively with our busy lives.

If you are struggling to get a good night's sleep then here are a few things you might like to try...

  • Avoid heavy meals just before bedtime.  Try to leave 2-3 hours after finishing a meal before trying to sleep.  Like wise, avoid caffeine, smoking and alcohol close to bedtime.
  • Try to stick to the same bedtime and wake up time if you can as it helps regulate your body's clock.
  • Prepare yourself for sleep by doing something calm and quiet before bedtime; try dimming the lights and reading a book.
  • Prepare your bedroom for sleep; try to keep your sleeping space clutter free, keep the room cool, turn off all the lights and consider blackout curtains or blinds if you don't already have them.
  • Ensure you have a comfortable mattress.  General advice is to change your mattress every 8-10 years.
  • Keep a notepad and pen by your bed so that if you wake up worrying about something you must remember to do the next day, jot it down, empty it out of your head and try and get back to sleep.

These are just a few ideas but we're all different so it really is a case of finding out what works for you.  The Sleep Council have produced a very informative guide called Get a Good Nights Sleep which is full of great advice.

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