Are You Getting Enough Sleep?


Did you know the average person living in the UK sleeps for between 5.78 and 6.83 hours per night?

This means that many of us miss out on the recommended amount of sleep by at least 100.6 minutes according to a research survey carried out by Chemist 4 U

Most human beings can function best after having 8 hours sleep per night, but this can vary for everyone. If we regularly miss out on the correct amount of sleep, the side effects can cause complications and health problems which can be life threatening in some cases.

Most of us have experienced having a difficult night’s sleep but for some people, falling asleep can be an everyday problem, perhaps heightened even more by the current challenges faced in society today.

Poor sleeping patterns can be linked to many health issues raised by the NHS including lack of motivation, forgetfulness, low mood and stress. All these issues contribute to our mental health and wellbeing therefore it is important to understand how mental health can affect sleep. 

Have you ever recorded how many hours sleep you had? Try doing this each night for one week and investigate your own sleeping patterns.

Once you’ve recorded your sleeping patterns it may be worth checking the following tips and ideas created by Mind

Top tips for getting a good sleep:

1) Establish a routine – Try to go to sleep at the same time every night but only when you are tired. 

2) Unwind before you go to bed- Have a bath or listen to relaxing music or try progressive muscle relaxation

3) A comfortable environment – Check the temperature of your room and light levels.  

4) Keep a sleep diary – Identifying a pattern will indicate if there are any issues linked to your sleeping. Write down how many times you wake up in the night. 

5) Try to resolve stress- Try to talk to a friend or family member about worries which are keeping you up at night.

6) Have an hour without technology before bed- Avoid your phone or TV. Try reading a book or listen to a podcast before you close your eyes and settle. 

7) Check for any physical causes – Investigate any physical pain or illness with your doctor and identify if this is linking to poor sleep. 

8) Food, drink and exercise – Try to reduce caffeine, alcohol and sugar intake as this can disturb your sleep. Go for a light walk in the evening or do some housework.

9) Medication- Many drugs can interfere with sleeping, particularly those for mental health problems. Talk to your doctor about possible side effects. 

10) Treatment and support options – There are treatments and medication for long term sleeping issues therefore please don’t suffer alone. There are also sleep clinics, get a referral form from your GP to access the sleep clinic on the NHS. 

If you’re a teacher and looking to improve your quality of sleep, try reading our blog post How Teachers Can get a Better Night’s Sleep. 

Sources:

https://worldsleepday.org/

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/sleep-problems/sleep-problems/#TryToResolveStressesAndWorries

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/insomnia/

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