Sleep is an important part of everyone's daily routine—we spend about one-third of our time doing it. Quality sleep and getting the right amount of it at the right times is as essential to survival, as food and water. Without sleep the body can’t form or maintain the pathways in our brain that lets us learn and create new memories, and it’s harder to concentrate and respond quickly.
Sleep affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body – from the brain, heart, and lungs to metabolism, mood, immune function and disease resistance. Lots of research shows that a chronic lack of sleep or getting poor quality sleep, increases the risk of disorders including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, obesity and skincare issues.
Getting enough sleep is essential to maintaining good health. Here are a few tips to improve your sleep:
1. Set a schedule – go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
2. Before bedtime, make the room atmosphere conducive to sleep by using dim lights, burning soothing essential oils like lavender.
3. Create a room for sleep – avoid bright lights and loud sounds, keep the room at a comfortable temperature, and don’t watch TV or have a computer in your bedroom.
4. Switch off all gadgets - TVs, phones, etc at least an hour before sleep, to let the mind unwind and disconnect.
5. Exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day but well ahead of going to bed.
6. Avoid caffeine and nicotine late in the day and alcoholic drinks before bed.
7. Relax before bed – try a warm bath, reading, or another relaxing routine.
8. Don’t lie in bed awake. If you can’t get to sleep, do something else, like reading or listening to music, until you feel tired. VERY IMPORTANT.
9. Use good quality mattress and bed sheets to give you a cosy, comfortable feel while in bed.
10. Air your bedroom regularly, and change the sheets often to ensure freshness everytime you get into bed to sleep.
Consult a doctor if you have a problem sleeping or if you feel unusually tired during the day. Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively these days.