15 Ways to improve your sleeping patterns.
There is no set amount of sleep that is right for everyone, optimum sleep periods can range between 5 and 11 hours. How much sleep is needed also tends to depend on age, with adolescents requiring more than adults and older people needing less.
The longest recorded time a human has ever gone without sleep is 18 days, 21 hours, and 40 minutes, which resulted in hallucinations and paranoia. However most people can only last 4-6 days without stimulants, and about 7-10 days before the body will be unable to function and long term damage can be caused.
Based on a 2011 report by the UK’s Mental Health Foundation 30% of the UK suffer from Insomnia or problems with their sleeping patterns.
Not getting enough of the right type of sleep can cause innumerable problems to your mental and physical health, including:-
Fatigue and in some cases chronic fatigue.
Brain fog – impairs judgement, causes forgetfulness and sometimes accidents.
Grumpiness / Bad moods.
Increase in anxiety, paranoia and / or depression.
Increase in compulsive behaviour.
It can put you at risk to Heart problems such as attacks, failure and strokes.
It can cause High Blood Pressure and Diabetes.
It can kill your sex drive.
It ages your skin.
It can also cause weight gain – According to a 2004 study, people who sleep less than 6 hours a day were almost 30% more likely to become obese than those who slept 7 to 9 hours.
By just making small adjustments to your lifestyle, you can really improve your chances of a good night sleep.
Here are 15 good tips to help make your sleeping patterns better and your life easier…..
1) Cut down on coffee and alcohol.
2) Increase physical activity.
3) Have a regular bedtime. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. This will help set your body’s internal clock and strengthen the quality of your sleep. Choose a bed time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn.
4) Don’t eat a heavy meal just before bed time.
5) Make sure you are hydrated – it is so important for your mental and physical health.
6) Turn off all Social Media and your Mobile Phone an hour before bed time.
7) Control your exposure to light - Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain secretes more Melatonin when it’s dark, making you sleepy, and less when it’s light, making you more alert.
8) Wind down and clear your head. Be "mindful". There are a lot of on-line apps you can use, use the time before bed to relax and meditate.
9) Create a “toolbox” of relaxing bedtime rituals to help you unwind before sleep. For example:-
Read a book or magazine by a soft light
Take a warm bath
Listen to soft music
Do some easy stretches
Wind down with a favorite hobby
Listen to books on tape
Make simple preparations for the next day
Dim the lights in the hours leading up to bed
10) A peaceful bedtime routine sends a powerful signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and let go of the day’s stresses. Sometimes even small changes to your environment can make a big difference to the quality of your sleep.
11) Keep your room dark, cool, and quiet and keep noise down. If you can't avoid or eliminate noise from neighbours, traffic, or other people in your household, try masking it with a fan or sound machine. Earplugs may also help. Most people sleep best in a slightly cool room with adequate ventilation. A bedroom that is too hot or too cold can interfere with quality sleep.
12) Make sure your bed is comfortable. Your bed covers should leave you enough room to stretch and turn comfortably without becoming tangled. If you often wake up with a sore back or an aching neck, you may need to experiment with different levels of mattress firmness, foam toppers, and pillows that provide more or less support.
13) Reserve your bed for sleeping and sex. By not working, watching TV, or using your laptop in bed, your brain will associate the bedroom with just sleep and sex and make it easier to wind down at night.