One of the fastest growing areas of well being for 2017 is sleep management. Formally a concern associated with night workers, many companies now are highlighting the importance of sleep when it comes to improved engagement, productivity and mental health and it is easy to understand why.
The effects of poor sleep are palpable and can have measurable individual as well as organisational consequences. Here are just some of the negative side effects associated with a lack of sleep;
Your cognitive ability suffers and mental focus impairs.
Your interpersonal responses deteriorate making you more agitated.
You become more aggressive
Your immune responses weakens (adults sleeping less than 6 hours per night have 4 x higher risk of catching a cold)
You gain weight - levels of ghrelin rise, which is an appetite stimulant
Your blood pressure increases
Your stress hormone levels increase
The brain can deteriorate leading to memory loss
If you sleep less than 5 hours per night you double your risk of death from cardiovascular disease
There are many ways sleep can be improved upon through education and techniques which can have a profound positive effect on a persons ability to enjoy a deeper, longer more beneficial sleep. Her are 5 top tips for a better nights sleep;
1 - Make your bed time habits a routine
Ensure that you try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. We have an immensely powerful body clock, this can be used to advantage by training yourself to be asleep as a matter of routine. New neural pathways will grow in the brain to accommodate these new sleeping habits!
2 - Avoid caffeine
Avoid drinking caffeine after 3pm. Caffeine has been shown to hinder and fragment sleep. And remember, caffeine isn't JUST in coffee, you will find it in tea, fizzy drinks and even in chocolate.
3 - Avoid alcohol
You may feel that having a few drinks before bed will help you to nod off... and it may help... but research has shown that as the alcohol effects wear off though the night sleep becomes disturbed and fragmented resulting in an overall poor quality nights sleep.
4 - Make your bedroom 'sleep tight'
Have a look around your bedroom... is it inviting? Do you get a sense of relaxation when you enter, or are you having to manoeuvre around the dirty washing on the floor along with a list of other 'to do's' Keep your bedroom as a sanctuary of peace and quiet. Ensure you have adequate window covers to black out the light for example. Black out blinds are great for this. Make sure your bed is as comfortable as possible ensuring you have the lighter summer duvet on in the warmer months.
5 - Avoid the glare or screens before bed
It is recommended that you refrain from looking at your phone, computer screen etc at least an hour before bed. The lights emitted from such devices have been found to decrease melatonin levels which is the hormone which helps you to sleep. Not only this, you may also find that your relationship improves also - beds should be for two things only... sleep and sex.
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