Sleep is a wonderful thing. It can help you learn, change your mood, and heal your body. But as you march into adulthood, or most definitely into parenthood, getting a full night’s sleep can be a challenge. Some us can’t stop overthinking, some of us can’t stop doing (busy schedule – can’t get behind), and some of us have 13 kids and husband to interrupt our dreams!
If you think you get enough sleep, you’re probably wrong. Sleep deprivation is an endemic in the UK and at least half the population aren’t getting their base of 8 hours a night. What’s more, I bet you didn’t you know that sleep debt can last for days? A chemical that is only broken down in your sleep can build up in your body when you don’t get enough, adding to your sleep debt in the following days!
Okay, you get it, you could probably do with more sleep, but why is it so important? I’m sure we’re all familiar with that grouchy feeling when you haven’t slept well and everyone seems to get on your last nerve, well sleep does more than just eliminate that. Proper sleep can help boost your immune system, increase your concentration and hence success and it can even assist in weight loss. Not to mention it can reduce the signs of ageing. Well rested individuals are all round happier and healthier people.
Perfect, how do I get me some!?
Getting more sleep can depend on the reason you’re lacking to start with. Many of us suffer with back pain, especially as we get older (don’t give me that look) and especially if you’re a woman – I know, not fair. But getting a mattress for back pain can help you sleep better. A squishy memory foam mattress can support your joints and relieve other pain, too, for easier sleep. The best part is that better sleep can reduce pain in general. Win-win.
For those of you who suffer from insomnia, you can try a few tricks to induce sleep. Keeping your room tidy can promote a calm environment which reduces stress. Adding scented candles or essential oils and low lighting to the mix can relax you enough to nod off. Using a solid routine also helps your body learn when it should be sleeping, and helps it fall into a pattern.
Many of us can’t keep off our devices, or we rely on them. Using your device before bed can put your mind in overdrive, plus the harsh light reverses the effect of drowsiness. But putting devices away an hour before trying to sleep can really help the wind-down process.
If getting to sleep isn’t a problem, but as a light sleeper you wake up easily, your magic solution could be a noise machine. This machine would play constant, calming sounds which equal out background noises so that peaks in activity and lulls of silence don’t disturb you. Low constant noise can also be generated with standard appliances, like a fan. Or if you are sensitive to light, try using a sleeping mask – they work a treat!
As a final tip, if none of this is working for you, remember to avoid caffeine in the later part of the day, and substitute it for a herbal tea before bed.
I hope this helps you sleep your way to happiness!