Based on physiological guidelines, we are supposed to get between 7.5 and 8 hours sleep a night. Any of us with a stressful job will know that rarely happens!
According to the Sleep Council, over a third of Britons are getting just five to six hours sleep per night.
A lack of sleep can impair attention and alertness, cause depression and lead to weight gain. This can all negatively impact on your quality of life and ultimately your performance at work.
Read the following tips and practice them daily and you will find in no time that your sleep improves and you are left feeling like a new person!
1. Develop a bedtime ritual
Create a bedtime ritual that helps you wind down from the stresses of the day and fall asleep more comfortably. Try to ensure you sleep at the same time every night – this will help to set your body’s internal clock and improve the quality of your sleep.
2. Avoid sleeping in…..even on your days off
Sleep in all weekend, and by the time Monday morning comes around you will be experiencing jet lag like symptoms. If you do have a late night, limit yourself to a power nap during the day for no longer than 15 minutes, to not disrupt your new carefully crafted body clock!
3. Take control of your light exposure
If you aren’t a morning person, expose yourself to light as early in the morning as you can manage; for example, read your newspaper by a brightly lit window. Try to maintain exposure to light for the rest of the day. Take regular breaks outside in the sun, and ensure blinds are wide open in the office.
Melatonin; a hormone that facilitates sleepiness, is only excreted into the blood flow in dark environments. Therefore it is important to limit your use of smartphones or other light emitting sources in bed. Turn them off or put them in a different room if you are too tempted to check those emails before you sleep.
4. Turn down your heating
It will be difficult to fall and stay asleep if you are too hot, so put on a fan or open a window. Many people find it soothing to sleep in a cold room and burrow into the covers. This will prevent you waking during the night, thirsty or too hot!
5. Undertake vigorous exercise
Physical tiredness is the surest way to get a good night’s sleep. Exercise intensely but only to your capability, you only want to elevate the heart rate slightly. It would be a shame to wake up from a fantastic nights rest only to be sore all over!
6. Be mindful of your eating and drinking habits
Go to bed too hungry and stomach pains are likely to keep you up, go to sleep stuffed and you will likely be too uncomfortable to settle. It’s also wise to limit how much you drink before you go to bed, to avoid those disruptive night-time toilet trips.
A word of warning about caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. The stimulating effect of caffeine and nicotine take hours to wear off, meaning less sleep for you. When you drink alcohol close to bedtime, you will not go through the traditional cycles of sleeping in order to restore your body, hence waking up exhausted after a night out.
By Nicole Hogger
© 2016 Just Recruitment Group Ltd.
Posted on Thursday Dec 22