What are you dreaming of?
We’ve all been there – struggling to concentrate and feeling irritable after a lack of sleep. Sometimes you feel like you’re not fully functioning when you’re tired and all you can think of is getting home to your bed.
But how bad really is a lack of sleep?
The odd late night here and there is normal, it’s an almost unavoidable part of life. But it’s when we start to do this regularly that problems can arise. The NHS tells us that regular poor sleep can have even greater consequences than just feeling a bit sleepy or grumpy. Their website links a lack of zzz’s to obesity and heart disease.
So how do we get a good night’s sleep?
Health professionals stress that “a good night’s sleep is essential for a long and healthy life”. And the benefits of a good sleep include: boosting immunity, boosting mental wellbeing, and helping prevent health issues such as diabetes.
With all these perks, how do we go about ensuring we get a good night’s sleep?
1. Make your bedroom somewhere you want to sleep
Your bedroom should be a relaxing place. Ideally it should be dark, quiet and tidy – somewhere that you can unwind. Unfortunately this might mean you need to tidy your room, but the lack of distractions when trying to get some slumber can really help.
2. Have a bed time
It’s not just for kids! Going to bed when you feel tired and getting up at the same time every day can get your body into a routine, meaning you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go!
3. Don’t just lie there
If you go to bed and find yourself unable to sleep after 20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Then go back to bed when you feel sleepier.
4. Put the phone down
It’s so tempting to lie in bed, scrolling through social media catching up on the latest news. But the stimulating light from your phone or TV can harm your sleeping pattern. The NHS recommend putting the tech away an hour before bed. You could replace your Twitter feed with a book or magazine as you try to wind down.
5. No late night coffee
The caffeine in your morning coffee is a great way to start the day, but it isn’t great for catching 40 winks. A warm milky drink or herbal tea are better options for a late night beverage to help you drift off.
As well as these tips, there are also a number of sleep apps that can help you get a good night’s rest. Check out the NHS website further details and links to their sleep apps.
No one should feel ashamed to talk about mental health
If you're worried about the stigma of mental health, your company may be able to help. Lots offer Employee Assistance Programmes that can provide confidential and impartial support. So don’t suffer alone, it’s time to talk!