The benefits of sleep and sleeping well need little introduction. But do we all get a good nights sleep? We think it’s worth spending a little time during this week (Sleep Awareness Week) to think about what you can do to promote better sleep for yourself.
6-12 March 2016
Poor sleep, reduced hours sleep, insomnia or disturbed sleep all take a toll on our physical and mental states. It can even be dangerous in some circumstances (driving, operating machinery, or even leading to bad decision-making). Many of us will experience insomnia at some point in our lives. Insomnia on a ‘temporary’ or ‘acute’ basis is, however, very different from chronic (long-term) insomnia. Things like a sudden crisis or jet lag could be the culprit of acute insomnia. If it persists, insomnia becomes chronic and can start to affect your life beyond just feeling a little tired and grumpy the following day.
Physiologically the risks of poor or inadequate sleep can include cardiovascular disease, weight gain, increased cortisol levels (if sustained over time this can cause poor bone and muscle health, slower healing, impaired digestion or disrupted metabolism), weakened immune systems means that fighting off bugs becomes harder.
An issue gaining lots of media coverage is the use of electronic devices close to bed time. This isn’t a good thing. This is an extract from the Sleep Foundation:
“…scientists are now finding that light from electronics has the potential to disrupt sleep, because it sends alerting signals to the brain. The circadian rhythm seems to be especially sensitive to light with short wavelengths—in particular, blue light in the 460-nanometer range of the electromagnetic spectrum. This light, which is given off by electronics like computers and cell phones, and also by energy-efficient bulbs, has been shown to delay the release of melatonin. In other words, electronics could keep you feeling charged past bedtime.”
Sound familiar? Difficulty dropping off to sleep so you check your phone, emails or messages again, and again, and again? STOP!!
The Sleep Foundation has many interesting articles to read….just not right before bed time!
What can we do to promote good sleep?
- Turn off electronics an hour before bed (including e-readers)
- Have a regular schedule for going to bed and getting up
- Make you bedroom look and feel tranquil
- Treat yourself to a massage*
- Get regular exercise
- Visit the National Sleep Foundation and take part in their #7days4bettersleep challenge
*We regularly receive amazing feedback following our deep tissue massage and hot stone therapy treatments from people letting us know they had the best nights sleep for a long time.
“I was very chilled for the rest of the evening and reported having a great nights sleep too”
“I slept so well last night, thank you, I’ll be back in a few weeks”