Are you getting enough sleep?
More and more research is coming out about the importance of sleep, yet almost a third of us get less than 7 hours quality sleep each night. Sleep takes place in three stages and deep sleep actually allows your brain to clean itself. Put scientifically, during deep sleep, the spaces between our brain cells expand by up to 60% allowing cerebral-spinal fluid to remove toxins such as beta-amyloid (a protein that can negatively affect memory). Also, research shows links between poor sleep and increased pain, as well as a correlation between lack of sleep and diseases like stroke, diabetes and depression.
The following tips may help improve your sleeping:
- Set a nightly routine.
- Dark, cool room.
- Warm bed.
- Relax and prepare for sleep before getting into bed; read a book, listen to calming music, do a puzzle.
- No smoking and alcohol close to bed time (both can cause waking during the night).
- No screen time 1-2 hours before bed; this will help your natural body clock.
- If your partner snores, try different ear plugs.
- Avoid a heavy dinner/dessert, but a light snack may help if you are hungry.
- Avoid stimulants in the afternoon and evening.
- Keep the bedroom for the two S’s.
- Try practising mindfulness; it can decrease the effort of sleep.
- If you are having trouble, don’t stay in bed worrying about it, get up but stay in a low-lit room.
If you’d like more help finding ways to improve your sleep quality, I recommend the 21 Day Sleep Programby Smiling Mind. Go to the App store, download the free App, create a login, go to ‘All Programs’ and it will be at the top of the page. Good luck and sleep tight.