It is an odd statement to say but sleep has become a real trend of late. It seems everyone is attached to a device that tells them exactly how much they are getting. 2017 saw the birth of ‘clean-sleeping’ along with a plethora of technology to ensure you get those precious eight hours, but by creating such rigid rules for sleep making you worse?
“By putting a number on how many hours of sleep we should get just isn’t realistic”, she says. “When we talk about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sleep we’re creating fear about something that is as personal to you as a fingerprint. This constant concern about not getting enough sleep can cause you to actually lose sleep.”
Dr. Petra Simic, Clinical Director of Bupa Health Clinics
So, if we are not sleeping well naturally and the gadgets are not helping, what are we to do? The answer lies in your habits and ignoring any trend.
A full night’s sleep every night is, of course, the goal but, for most, this is unrealistic. When you get the opportunity to for a good long sleep, take it. Recharge those batteries with an early night or a long lay-in at the weekend/holidays. Regular sleep binges will help your body to repair, so never feel guilty for those extra hours.
- Anti-track Yourself
Today we count everything from calories to steps, and overall, this is beneficial but putting a number on sleep can increase anxiety about not getting enough. If you struggle to nod off, or find that you wake up during the night, whatever you do, do not check the time. By checking the time your brain automatically calculates how long you have left until you need to get up and determines how tired you will be that day.
- You Are Not Everyone
Resist the urge to compare your sleep with others. Everyone requires different amounts and at different intervals. You sleep what your body requires and ignore what everyone else does.
- Don’t Race To Bed
Come the evening we naturally start to relax and feel sleepy. We suddenly realise that it is time for bed and rush to complete our routine before we get into bed. Stop! This habit is filling your body with adrenaline which makes it harder to drop off to sleep. Prepare before you sit down to relax. Do the dishes, the morning prep and put on your PJs first, then, when you become sleepy you can simply go straight to bed.
- Holistic Help
If you struggle with sleep, or even if you just want to discover a better way to relax, contact your local alternative health centre. They can help with massage, relaxation, breathing, meditation and positive thinking.
They may be hard to work around work but short naps of 20-30 minutes especially in the early afternoon have been proven to increase performance. Naps do not work for everyone and for some, can increase sleepiness or leave them awake late into the night. Remember that naps are not a replacement for night sleeping.