A Sleep Loss Epidemic
If you’re a sound sleeper, getting a restful 8 hours every night, you will undoubtedly be the envy of most people around you. The World Health Organisation has declared a sleep loss epidemic in industrialised nations, and studies consistently tell us that the UK is becoming more and more sleep-deprived.
That Feeling Of Sleep Deprivation
You’ll know what it feels like to be sleep deprived – foggy thinking, poor memory, likely excess hunger, and a short fuse. That’s because sleep is a hugely active physiological process and is critical for processing thoughts, problem-solving, embedding learning, forming memories, regulating our blood sugar and appetite hormones, digestion, blood pressure, and so much more.
When we’re struggling with sleep we often focus on what we’re doing in the evening, but did you know that what you do in the daytime has just as much influence?
Daytime Habits For Better Sleep
Here are 3 things you may not have considered before to help your sleep.
- Use The Light – our internal sleep-wake body clock is heavily influenced by light so help it stay in rhythm by giving yourself plenty of exposure to natural light first thing in the morning and throughout the day. Avoid bright and artificial lights at night-time.
- Daytime Downtime – that might sound a bit alien, but the more downtime you can give yourself during the day, the less your brain has to process as soon as your head hits the pillow. The more you can allow yourself to recover in intervals during the day, the better your sleep will be.
- Breathe Deeply – simple deep breathing techniques for even the shortest periods of time can help reduce the stress response, induce a more relaxed state, and aid daytime recovery. All of which can contribute to improved sleep.
And A Tip For The Evening
- Consider It A Children’s Bedtime Routine – think about what a child needs to help them off to a dreamy sleep – get off the screens, have winddown time, dim the lights and reduce the noise, and maybe a bedtime story. As adults, we also need this routine and relaxation to let our bodies know it’s sleep time.
Photo credit: Louis Hansel, from Unsplash