Having a restful night's sleep is sometimes a very difficult task in today's society. With the distractions of work, school, family activities and lots of commuting, sleep often becomes last on the to-do list. Getting a good night's sleep is crucial to performing well at work and managing a busy lifestyle. Lack of sleep is also linked to many health problems:
- A decrease in your immune system's response to disease or illness
- A decrease in your concentration and memory
- A slowing of the body's metabolism
- An increase in carbohydrate cravings
- It can stimulate the aging process
- It can cause impairment similar to that of drugs and alcohol
- It can contribute to depression and anxiety
Here are a few strategies to help you to try and get a great night's rest:
- Try to go to bed, and get up, at the same time every day. Even on the weekends. This can help your biological clock stay in sync.
- Have a bedtime routine ... and not just for your kids! Routines help to settle the body and prepare it for sleep.
- Eliminate the distractions of televisions, laptops, tablets, and phones.
- Ensure your bedroom is at the right temperature. Ideally between 18°C and 22°C.
- Make your bedroom into a sleep haven. Create a room that is quiet and dark.
- Regular excercise is key to a healthy lifestyle. But avoid workouts within 2 hours of bedtime.
- Avoid the use of nicotine products before bed.
- Caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime can also keep you awake
- Finish eating at least 2 to 3 hours before bed.
- If your mattress is older than 7 years, or your pillow older than 1 year, it may be time to replace them to ensure proper comfort and support.