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Sleep Hygiene Tips

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of health, but we tend to undermine it. Sleep has a large impact our both our physical and mental health, so it is important to try and get around 8 hours or sleep each night.


Some things you may not realise that sleep can help:

  • Improves our immunity - reduces the likelihood or getting unwell

  • Reduces stress and improves our resilience and mental wellbeing

  • Lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke

  • Helps your concentration and long-term memory


Sleep hygiene refers to the health habits and steps we can take to put ourselves in the best position for a good night's sleep. This will include things to try and things to avoid or limit.


 

Here are a handful of sleep hygiene techniques that are scientifically proved to help improve your sleep.


Keep your bedroom for sleeping only

If we use our bedrooms for anything other than sleeping it can mean our brain's associate the room with more stimulating activities. A popular example would be working in your bedroom. It is so important to avoid this because our brain's will start to associate it with work rather than sleep, even if we don't realise this is happening.


Have a fixed wake up time

Try to wake up at the same time each day (yes including weekends). This helps your body to get into a pattern, which can help us to feel more energised during the week.


Keep off your phone

This might be a difficult one for many of you... but it really can help! Phone and screen use can create mental stimulation and keep our brains active, which makes it difficult to settle down later on. Screens also emit blue light, which can actually start to wake up our body. Try to minimise phone screen time at least 1 hour before you plan on going to sleep.


Have a bedtime routine

Create a routine that you do everyday before bed. This could include getting into comfortable clothes, dimming the lights, and doing a restful activity such as reading a book. This will let our bodies know that we are settling down for bed soon and put it in a state of relaxation.


Get out for daylight

During the day it is important to get outside, be active, and get some daylight. This will help to regulate the biological circadian rhythm (the sleep-wake cycle).


Reduce caffeine, alcohol and nicotine intake

Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine intake can disrupt our sleep and also give us poor quality of sleep too. If you want to continue, then we recommend avoiding intake in the evenings.


Avoid having dinner late

Eating dinner lat can mean you’re still digesting when it’s time for bed. We recommend to avoid eating after around 7pm.


Sleep in a cool environment

Sleeping in a cool (not cold) environment can improve our ability to fall asleep, and impacts our overall quality of sleep too. Many people open the window while sleeping, which we recommend.


Block out light

Sleeping in a completely dark room is an optimal environment for sleep.


 

It is important to note that if, once you try these techniques, your sleep does not improve, we recommend that you contact your GP.

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