The Power of Sleep

Updated: Jun 28, 2020

Without sleep, you will not be able to function properly.

Sleep helps us to:

1. Recharge - physically and psychologically 

2. Heal Ourselves - helps your tissues grow and regenerate and converse energy.

3. Increase Energy Levels - to cope with the demands of each day, feeling relaxed and being able to think and work at a top efficiency.

4. Concentrate - sleep helps you to consolidate memories, which helps with learning. When sleep is disrupted, short-term memory can fail as well as the ability to acquire new skills.

5. Be Happier - sleep deals with stress, with little sleep you can become irritable. 

6. Increase our Immune System - while you sleep your body secretes chemicals that boosts your immunity. People who are ill tend to require more sleep than usual.

7. Reduce Stress - lowers your blood pressure and heart rate. Stress is linked to sleep deprivation. 

A lack of sleep can trigger stress, poor concentration and fatigue. The average amount of sleep required for most people is 7-8 hours a night. The key to getting the most out of your sleep is to understand how your body's sleep patterns are controlled and how your environment affects sleep quality. 

1 - Your sleep zone

Your sleep zone is your sleep environment.

Bedroom -This is your safe place, where you can go to relax. Making simple changes to the way you use your bedroom will help you drift to sleep easier, get into bed when only you are tired. Fresh air is essential so keep a window slightly open to allow this.

Lighting - When sleeping you want it to be suitably dark, quiet as possible and the right temperature so your body has the right triggers to send it to sleep. You can use an eye-mask to keep your room dark. Heavy curtains/blinds can decrease outside noise, wear ear plugs, play low volume relaxing music or keep a fan on to help lull you to sleep.

Bed and Mattress - Your bed should be comfortable so it can correctly support you to sleep in the right position. Ensure you have a good mattress, use more pillows or buy new bedding. Avoid using tight bedding tucked in at the end and sides of your bed as this will restrict your movement. 

Keep a bag of lavender or aromatic herbs under your pillow to help get you into a restful sleep.

2 - Winding down

Having a routine before you go to sleep will psychologically trigger your mind to prepare for sleep so you can quickly drift off. 

Relaxation Techniques - leave the stress of the day behind you and discover simple meditation techniques, calming music, soothing drinks and warm baths

Develop a Routine - try to go to bed the same time every evening and wake up at the same time every morning to help you get a good quality sleep, make yourself a nice drink before bed without any caffeine. 

Change - make an effort to change out of your 'work gear' when you get home into something comfy - different to your daytime clothes. 

Exercise - yoga, stretches or a brisk walk helps release the strains of daily life from your body.

Private Time - allow yourself at least 2 days a week to have time to yourself - even if you are very sociable - this will help you wind down. 

Eating - never go to bed on a full stomach - your body will be digesting food all night and will not be able to fully relax and get the sleep it needs. Alcohol does not help you sleep it promotes slumber, which leads to dehydration, bad dreams and causes you to wake up through the night.

3 - Taking control of sleep patterns

Body Clock - influence your internal body clock by setting regular times to go to bed to enable you to alter your sleep pattern 

Sleep Diary - Track your sleeping patterns so you can establish how much sleep you get (a good app for this is called Sleep Cycle)

Sleep Triggers - by controlling your exposure to light, you can help trigger sleep

Natural Solutions - try to stay away from drugs that make you sleep as you can train your body with natural solutions. For example Lavender pillow sprays, Sleepy lotion from Lush!

Try using an eye mask as it forces the eyes closed so you naturally fall asleep.

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