Why is sleep important for your wellbeing?
Getting enough quality sleep is essential for your health and well-being. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and more prone to stress. In the same breath, stress can impact your sleep pattern, so it’s essential that you help yourself get as good a night’s sleep as you can.
It is important to note that it is not just about the quantity of sleep you achieve. The quality of sleep you get plays a huge role in your health and well-being. So, what are some of the key benefits of getting a good night sleep?
- Improved mood
- More energy
- Increased productivity and creativity
- Improved digestion
- Improved hormonal health
- Improved Immunity
Positively, there are many things you can do to help promote getting a good night’s sleep, and we have provided several tips below to support you in doing so:
- Step away from your smartphone or computer at least an hour before bed. The blue light that comes from these devices can have a detrimental impact on melatonin, the sleep hormone, reducing its secretion, which impacts your ability to sleep.
- Where possible, try and create a quiet and dark bedroom to sleep in, as this will help promote a relaxed night sleep. Earplugs and sleep masks can also come in handy.
- Avoid drinking or reduce your consumption of caffeine after midday, to prevent a disturbed night sleep.
- Get regular exposure to daylight during your day, as this encourages melatonin production at night. Melatonin plays an essential role in our Circadian Rhythm, which is our sleep and wake cycle.
- Try not to eat too close to bedtime, as this will impede your ability to sleep as it can throw the digestive system into overdrive. Eating can trigger heartburn / acid reflux during the night, which can, of course, keep you awake. It can also cause indigestion and bloating because the body has not had time to digest the food quickly enough. This is linked to our metabolism, which slows down as we head into the evening.
- Journaling before bedtime can help get worrying thoughts out of your head to encourage a calm state before bed. Likewise, keeping a sleep journal can prove especially useful, as it can help identify any sleep patterns and potential triggers that contribute to poor sleep.
- Try to ensure that you have a regular sleep pattern, meaning that you wake up and go to bed at the same time each day. Doing so supports your Circadian Rhythm. When this runs efficiently, it helps promote good health.
By just implementing a couple of the steps above, you can go a long way towards improving the quality of your sleep. If you continue to have issues with sleep, it is recommended that you speak with your GP, who will be able to talk through practical solutions.
There are useful links to external resources that you may also find useful regarding sleep. Please see below:
- Sleep Foundation https://www.sleepfoundation.org/
- Mindtools – Practical ways to get a good night sleep https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/10-ways-to-get-a-good-nights-sleep.htm
- British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association – https://britishsnoring.co.uk/
- Mental Health Foundation – https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health