Something that everyone can universally agree on is that we all need a decent night’s sleep. Despite this fact, many people don’t realise how critical sleep truly is to our health and wellbeing.
Trouble sleeping and lack of sleep is a widespread problem. According to the NHS, it’s a common problem thought to regularly affect around one in every three people in the UK. There are many instances that can cause this trouble sleeping.
For example, stress is a main factor for people not being able to sleep. The hustle culture of the twenty first century constantly pressures people to be ‘always on’. This undeniably affects our ability to get quality rest and maintain a healthy sleep schedule.
While it can seem like a struggle, there are ways in which you can improve your sleep health in order to improve your wellbeing.
Why is sleep crucial to your wellbeing?
Sleep is essential to both personal health and daily function. Getting enough sleep is only part of the battle – getting quality sleep is just as important. Quality, deep, restful sleep is opportunity for the body to rest and reset. It is during this time that the body engages in recovery and readies you for the next day.
Lack of sleep or sleep deprivation can be incredibly detrimental to your health. It can:
- Affect your energy levels during the day, making you more lethargic and tired.
- Have a negative effect on your mood, making you anxious, depressed, or prone to stress.
- Lower your concentration, making it difficult to focus, make decisions or judge situations accurately. This makes every day actions such as driving very dangerous.
- Make you more likely to become ill, as lack of sleep can affect your immune system and your body’s ability to fight off illness.
- It has even been linked to studies showing that lack of sleep can increase the chance of serious illness. These include obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, poor mental health, and early death.
Sleep is vital to an individual’s performance. It fundamentally affects the way that you function, and it can even be dangerous if you get too little.
So, How Much Sleep Should I Be Getting?
The amount of sleep that each person needs varies. No less than six hours a night is recommended, with the National Sleep Foundation guidelines advising that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.
It is also generally agreed that the younger you are, the more sleep you need. This is because children have more physical and mental growth and development to do than adults.
This guideline of time, however, is open to adaptation. Some people need more than is recommended, some less. This can be attributed to external factors, such as the job you have, how much exercise you do, or what your health is like. People who are more active need more rest, and people who are more sedentary may need less.
Surprisingly, there can be such a thing as too much sleep. Sleeping more than is necessary can have the same effects as sleeping too little. It is important to strike the right balance for yourself and understanding how much is too much for your lifestyle.
Tips on How to Improve Your Sleep
There are a few things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep. You can:
- Consider your sleep environment – make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and works for your body. Studies show that newer mattresses reduce back discomfort and in turn increased sleep quality.
- Improve your sleep hygiene – wash and change your bedding at least once every two weeks. Ensure you vacuum your bedroom carpet regularly to reduce allergens.
- Set a routine – by giving yourself a bedtime, you establish a habit. This makes it easier to fall and stay asleep because your body recognises that it is tired around the same times.
- Do calming exercises before sleeping – activities such as reading are relaxing and can make you tired. If you are an anxious person, journaling could also help. This can help rid your mind of stress and prepare you for sleep.
- Put your phone away before you begin your sleep routine – The blue light from our phone screens can negatively affect our sleep. It has been found that artificial light at the wrong time may disrupt circadian rhythms and sleep. Put your phone away one to two hours before you sleep in order to give your body a rest from it.
When it comes to sleep, knowing yourself is crucial. Don’t be afraid to listen to your body and its needs.
Sleep is the most easily neglected aspect of our health, so must be consciously improved on to become the most rested version of yourself.
Here at Ceed, we are committed to helping you improve your life. If you’re looking to improve your sleep schedule, feel free to contact us today.