Zzzzzzz...for wellness

Zzzzzzz...for wellness

Each and every one of us are different in how much sleep we actually need. The general rule of thumb is between seven and eight hours, but some people need more and others need less. Plus, it's often easy to blame lack of sleep - or a perceived lack of sleep - for being tired when there are many other factors like stress and being constantly busy that can contribute to that feeling of fatigue.

According to Professor Jim Horne, director of Loughborough University's Sleep Research Centre when interviewed by All About You earlier this year, the amount of sleep we need is quite flexible, saying people are "biologically programmed to adapt". A great article, one of the big points we took out of it was the stress factor of worrying about the amount of sleep instead of the quality of sleep we get.
So taking that lead, what can we all do to get good quality sleep - the kind of sleep that sets us up for a great day?
Get ready for bed: The brain and body needs to wind down a bit before the head hits the pillow. Set an alarm for when you want to start getting ready for bed (novel!), take a bath, read something relaxing, turn the lights off or do other small things that let your brain and body know it's just about time for zzzz.
Dark is best: Gadgets and TVs in the bedroom are more and more common these days, but they can contribute to poor quality sleep. Even a small amount of light disrupts sleep waves (we want the deep slow-wave variety for the best rest), so play with your bedroom set-up and make sure blinking lights and screens of all varieties are off while you slumber.
Stimulation = less sleep: Exercise is good for sleep right? Yes, but not a couple of hours before bed. Triggering adrenaline is like telling the body that it has to stay alert and active which is not conducive to nodding off for quality sleep. A big diner late at night has a similar effect because you've just given your body a big to-do list to get through before the morning. The body can't get optimum rest if it's busy digesting in the twilight hours.
Work out your circadian-rhythm: Just like the amount of sleep we need, we all have our own circadian-rhythm (whether you're a morning person or a night owl etc). Take a look at a quiz that was designed to help people work out their own rhythm. Life might get in the way of sleeping and waking exactly when your body would prefer, but the test will give you some good pointers on how you can best work your sleep patterns and more. Click here or go to www.cet.org.



Rebecca Rolls on 23 July 2012 15:15
great article, if only someone could tell our little ones how to sleep as well lol


Jessica Greenland on 22 June 2012 17:16
Makes perfect sense. I potter around the house about an hour before I get into bed every night.


Sarah Bradley on 27 June 2012 10:07
Good read - I dont believe in T.V.s in bedrooms, lamps, radios or alarm clocks with neon writing, the bedroom is for sleeping, otherwise it would be called a lounge! And without hopefully sounding too picky (but proof I read the article!) under heading of stimulation there is a typo .. diner should be dinner! cheers


Maxine Finlay on 25 June 2012 09:56
Thanks for this- really good article! Sleep is so important :)


Vanessa Hayward on 24 July 2012 14:26
I have heard before about the dark isbest and keeping bedroom only forsleep and this is what I do - I have put blockout material over my curtains and this really helps


Wendy Owles on 16 July 2012 21:15
I heard about needing it to be dark for better sleep and tried a sleep mask and it really did help me get a better nights sleep. Very interesting article :-)


Amy Buttery on 02 August 2012 08:49
as soon as we had a routine for my son. he started to sleep for longer he now knows when his bed time is and will sleep all night


Emma Rice on 24 July 2012 10:11
our youngest daughter was in a sleep pattern she is 2 and half but since she because very sick when she had tonsillitis for over 3 weeks it has gone and she doesnt seem to be getting any closer to re-establishing it anytime soon and we now hav another child who is only 3 mnths so i dont get much zzzz at all but we are still trying


Susan Ditmer on 22 June 2012 13:19
i try and go for a walk two hours b4 bed time we have a dog so its win win.. but im a stresser and tend to think and over think once my head hits the pillow. i think i will have to go check out that link posted above..


Laurissa Irwin on 30 July 2012 16:26
i am 21 weeks pregnant at the moment and the whole of my pregnancy i have found it really hard to get to sleep, ive tried alot of things but reading this article is good as it has alot of good points in it, will start trying these things tonight before bed :)


Karena Wilson on 22 June 2012 10:57
wow i didnt even think about blinking lights in my room, my baby monitor blinks a bright red light and i have it right next to me in bed, i really should move it to other side of room as i will still clearly hear it but the light wont affect my sleep as i do find regularly during the night i am looking at it waiting for my baby, very good ideas in here!!


Jo Taylor on 23 June 2012 09:20
Our son has a set bedtime routine and bedtime, and when I introduced a bedtime routine for myself the quality of my sleep was so much better. Wish I had started the routine years ago!

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