Sleeping well is integral to our health and wellbeing. Many of us struggle to sleep well at some point in our lives and this can be triggered by health issues or stress. Maintaining a sleep routine can help to ensure you get the sleep your body needs to protect your immune system and replenish energy levels – there’s a reason why sleep deprivation is one of the most effective forms of torture!
How much is enough sleep?
Contrary to popular belief, most adults don’t need eight hours sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation the definition of sufficient sleep is “a sleep duration that is followed by a spontaneous awakening and leaves one feeling refreshed and alert for the day”. The duration of that sleep will depend on your age, sex and a variety of other factors. You can also expect the amount of sleep you require to reduce with age, this is normal. You will probably begin to sleep more lightly too.
I don’t think I’m getting enough sleep..
If you’re not feeling refreshed and energetic on wakening then you’re probably not getting enough sleep.
There are several things you can do to improve this. Professor Kevin Morgan of the Clinical Sleep Research Unit at Loughborough University suggests reserving the bedroom for sleep and sex only. Eating, work and watching tv promotes wakefulness. If you find you can’t fall asleep after fifteen minutes you should get up and do something else. You should also maintain a routine at bedtime that your body can get used to.
Developing a bedtime routine to look forward to will mean you’re more likely to fall asleep easily. A warm soapy bath followed by a massage (if you can get someone to oblige!) is a great way to relax the body ready for a good night’s sleep.
If physical pain or a busy mind are keeping you awake, consider one of our wellbeing treatments designed to treat these issues.