Sleep | Well-being

Sleep Well to Get Well

Did you know that an astonishing two thirds (~67%) of us in the UK suffer from disrupted sleep and nearly a staggering quarter (~23%) manage no more than five hours a night?

Rest and well-being are inextricably connected.

When you sleep, your brain signals your body to release hormones and compounds that help manage your hunger levels, maintain your immune system and retain memory. But when you have prolonged poor quality sleep, this can contribute to a greater risk of other health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Even if you don’t have time for the gym, just focusing on getting better sleep can lead to significant improvements in your health and well-being.

So what can you do? Before you begin, it’s best to know where to start – keep a sleep diary for a week: record approximately how many hours you got (there are some easy and great Apps that can help here – I use Samsung Health) – plus there are also a lot of wearable technology gadgets I know some of you will have). Then think of your lifestyle regime – think about the following practices:

Regular exercise: Try and do some exercise daily. This could be the gym but if you don’t have time for the gym, perhaps walk up the stairs and get off from the tube or bus stop one stop early every day. Just make sure any exercise is not too close to bedtime.

De-stress: Use a wellbeing app to relieve stress during the day – I use Waking Up. Doing this first thing in the morning or the last thing at night is best.

Prepare for bed: Have a warm shower before bed – this will help to relax you. Try not to use mobile phones in the 45 minutes before going to bed or at least look for the night time lighting mode.  Also, try to use fewer lights or dim them if you can – make your bedroom as dark as possible for sleeping. This helps with melatonin production.

Waking up: Get access to natural light in the morning – open those curtains and let the light in! If you have to get up really early, why not try a natural light lamp that mimics morning sunlight and set it for the time when you want to wake up.

So here’s to a good night’s sleep!

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