Sleep...so important yet how many of us are having a quality sleep? Ever heard of 'sleep hygiene'? This term refers to good sleep habits. Sleep is very important for your mood, energy levels, ability to deal with stress, mental sharpness, productivity, weight and physical vitality. Your sleep at night is your time to rest and recover. The number of hours of sleep needed vary per person. On average adults need 7-10hours of sleep per night.
Signs you may by sleep deprived...
Need an alarm to wake up on time
Struggle to get out of bed
Feel sluggish and fatigued in the afternoon
Rely on caffeine
Fall asleep watching tv at night time
Have naps during the day
Ways to get a better nights sleep
Create a calming routine- Avoid emotionally stressful situations before bed. These might include arguements or worrying over pressing issues. Ensure your room is peaceful, a comfortable mattress & pillow, the correct temperature and dark enough (this stimulates Melatonin production).
Avoid sitimulants- These include caffeine, nicotine and alcohol 4-6hours before bed time. Alcohol heavily impacts on your quality of sleep.
Avoid day naps- Whilst these may seem essential to some, a good routine both day and night, aids a good nights sleep and avoids disruption of wakefulness and sleep patterns. If you must nap, make sure it is before 3pm and for no longer than 1 hour.
Exercise- Regular exercise (not too close to bed time), aids quality sleep. Relaxing exercise eg yoga, can be done before bed to unwind and relax. Exercise elevates body temperature, increases metabolism and produces activating hormones eg cortisol. Exercise is best done in the morning or early afternoon.
Large meals- Having a large meal close to bed time can disrupt sleep. Meals are best eaten 2-3hours before bed time. Note chocolate also contains caffeine. Being hungry whilst trying to go to sleep can be very distracting, having a light snack before bed and help alleviate this issue.
Avoid backlit devices- This includes cell phones, tv, laptop and Ipads. Blue lit devices disrupt with sleep. Trying leaving devices in another room when you go to bed or turning down the screen brightness. Late night tv supresses Melatonin and most tv programs are stimulating. Try reading, phoning a friend, or enjoying time with a partner instead.
Have a regular routine- Going to bed and get up at the same time everyday, this helps your internal clock. This includes weekends, days off and so on. Regular routine creates a habit within yourself, making sleep an easier task.
Keep your bed for sleeping & sex only- Watching tv and other activities interfers with your association with bed.
Don't avoid the signs- If you are tired, GO TO BED! Often we try squeeze in as much as possible and night. Avoiding your tired signs, creates a second wind of energy making it harder to go to sleep.
Osteopaths can help!
Ways an Osteopath can help your sleep is addressing any physical causes of sleep disruption. This may include neck, back, shoulder pain, or other causes of physical pain, disrupting sleep. Also tailored advice is given to patients, with tools to combat sleep issues.
Book online or email us today!