If the COVID-19 pandemic is making you feel stressed, you’re not alone.
Many people are feeling anxious, worried, lonely, or depressed.
That’s why, now more than ever, it’s important to get enough sleep.
Sleep can help to keep your body and mind in a healthy state. Most adults need between 6 and 8 hours a night to perform at their best, and if you’re not getting enough, it can have a huge impact on your day-to-day life.
And it’s not just about the number of hours. The quality of sleep matters, too. To make sure you feel fully rested and energised when you wake up, you need to have a quality, regular sleep schedule.
If you’re not sure how, here’s a brief look at the importance of sleep, and some tips to help you improve your sleeping habits.
Why it’s important to get enough sleep
Sleep is very important health wise, but its benefits are often overlooked.
Some of these benefits include:
- It’s easier to maintain a healthy weight;
- You’ll be less likely to suffer from minor illnesses;
- It lowers the risk of serious health conditions;
- It improves your mood and reduces your stress levels;
- You’ll find it easier to concentrate and perform tasks effectively;
- It can make it easier to have healthy relationships.
Your body’s ‘biological clock’ is based on the pattern of daylight, and it’s what helps your body to naturally sleep at night and be alert and awake during the day.
Sometimes, however, this can become disturbed and we can have trouble sleeping at night, which has a knock on effect to how we feel during the day.
Some of the things that can make it harder to fall asleep are:
- Anxiety or feeling stressed;
- Being in physical pain;
- Certain health conditions;
- Side effects of medication;
- Consuming caffeine, especially if it’s late in the day;
- Alcohol and drugs;
- Sleep disorders, like insomnia or sleep apnea.
If you think you might have a sleep disorder, and it’s affecting you on a regular basis, speak to your doctor, as they will be able to give you further advice or offer a treatment plan.
Tips for improving your sleep habits
Changing your sleep habits and promoting healthy sleeping patterns can have an amazing effect on both your physical and mental well-being. It’s time to take action!
Here are some of the changes you can make to your routine that promote a better night’s sleep:
Making minor changes to your daily routine can encourage your body to sleep better at night.
Some of the changes you can try making are:
- Spend more time outdoors;
- Make sure you get regular exercise;
- Avoid caffeine late in the day;
- Try and limit how much you sleep during the day;
- If you drink alcohol, try and limit your consumption;
- Don’t eat big meals close to bedtime.
Night time habits
Establishing a calming routine in the evening and creating a good sleeping environment can help you to get the sleep you need. Some of the ways you can do this are:
- Make sure the room is dark and not too hot or cold;
- Keep your bedroom as quiet as possible;
- Try and avoid using electronic devices late at night;
- Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning;
- Use bedding that’s comfortable and promotes a good night’s sleep.
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