March is National Bed Month, so there is no better time to think about the importance of sleep and whether you are getting enough of it, and if not, what impact this could be having on your overall health and wellbeing.
Everyone is familiar with the feeling of not having had enough sleep. It makes us feel tired, unmotivated, less productive and more irritable. It isn’t a great feeling, but did you know that lack of sleep is bad for your health?
Sleep deprivation can have negative consequences on our physical and mental health. It can make it hard to concentrate, make decision making tough, make you feel down, put you at risk of injury and accidents, make you less productive, cause mood swings and can lead to stress.
Getting enough sleep can help boost immunity, keep your weight steady, boost mental wellbeing, prevent diabetes, prevent heart disease, increase fertility, and so much more. If that’s not enough motivation for getting eight solid hours of quality sleep per night, we don’t know what is!
If you need to improve the amount and quality of your sleep, here are some things you can do:
Avoid Energy Drinks and Caffeine
Whilst energy drinks loaded with caffeine or a few extra cups of strong coffee might give you a short term boost during the day, they can be disruptive to your overall sleep. Energy drinks and caffeine are best avoided altogether or drunk in moderation early in the day.
Ensure You Have the Right Mattress and Bedding
If you find you can’t sleep because your bed is uncomfortable or you wake in the night because your back is sore, you may not have the right mattress or pillows for your body. Investing in high-quality bedding and a mattress that supports your body is worth every penny as the average person spends around 26 years of their life sleeping!
Create The Right Environment For Sleep
It has been scientifically proven that the most restful sleep happens in a calm, dark environment, between 18 and 20 degrees. Keeping your bedroom clean and tidy helps create a relaxing space, whilst investing in high-quality curtains or blinds that keep out light and keeping the temperature at optimum levels will help you drift off easier and have a more restful sleep.
Limit Screen Time Before Bed
The blue light emitted from mobile phones, tablets, televisions and other similar devices has been proven to wake our brains up. This stimulation is why it’s difficult to put down your phone and immediately drift off.
Avoiding screen time for an hour before you go to bed will help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality once you do nod off. Never try to fall asleep with the television on as you will be exposed to the blue light if you wake in the night, making it harder to fall back asleep.
Follow the above steps to get more and better quality sleep, and you’ll find you feel physically and mentally much better for it. Sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing, so it’s worth investing the effort. The importance of sleep can’t be overlooked!