Top sleep tips to better health

Make sure you get enough sleep.
Make sure you get enough sleep.
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Parents often suffer with lack of sleep, especially because of attending the needs of very young children.

Sleep deprivation can lead to stress but during Mental Health Awareness Week this week, online bed specialists Time4Sleep reveal its top five tips to help people clear their minds and create a healthy sleeping pattern.

Avoid technology 60 minutes before bedtime - Any form of consumer technology including laptops, tablets, smartphones and TVs all emit high levels of blue light rays. Turning these screens off one hour prior to bedtime can have a profound effect on sleep quality, including our physical and mental performance.

Soften the senses - Perceptual activities such as washing the dishes, preparing lunch for the next day, taking the dog for a walk or listening to music are all fantastic ways of unwinding in the evening. Too much thinking before bed can result in an overactive mind, eventually disturbing your sleep sanctuary.

Keep a sleep diary with information such as - time you go to bed and get up, how many hours sleep, how many times you wake throughout the night, any nightmares, sleep paralysis or sleep-walking incidents, the amount of caffeine, nicotine or alcohol consumed before bed, mood and feelings when you go to sleep and when you wake up.

Resolve any worries or stress - if you have a niggling, unsettled feeling before bed, then chances are, sleep won’t be easy. Try to resolve anything that is making you feel anxious or worried; talking to a friend or family member can also help to ease the burden and take a weight off your shoulders.

Relaxation is key - Swap technology for relaxing in the bath or even meditation; both of these exercises help to clear the mind before bed. For more information and advice, please visit Time4Sleep’s Relaxation Zone

Rebecca McCann, Psychotherapist at Hertfordshire Therapy Centre said: “Sleep is our body’s chance to rest physically and to mentally process the events of the day.

“The two stages of sleep, REM and non-REM, each have an equally important role to play and when we don’t get enough of each we wake up as drained as when we went to sleep. Our bodies and minds need to rest and recuperate in order to function to the best of their ability.

“Our minds need to shut down, backup and restore. Good quality, restorative sleep does just this and promotes positive emotion, mental and physical health.”

Jonathan Warren, Director at Time4Sleep added: “Sleep is one of the most important mechanisms, and it’s vital that we feel comfortable and relaxed before bedtime.

“Studies show that lack of sleep and disturbed sleep can have an effect on health.”