With the Easter holidays now upon us, our daily routines are likely to change, and our sleep affected. Children home from school, parents off work, visitors, trips out, excessive sweet treats, over-indulgence in caffeine-heavy foods and drinks, and later bedtimes…is it any wonder why we might fail to achieve a good night’s sleep!
Let’s talk about sleep…
Sleep, or lack of it, is a major contributory factor to depression. Unlike mental health difficulties, however, sleep is a subject that we are more than happy to talk about and let’s be honest, moan about. Because we’re generally okay in sharing information on how tired we are, on being awake at 4am, and how unrested we feel, it means that we can learn from others and share our tips on getting a better night’s sleep. That being said, many of us tend to reject advice, don’t give any changes we do implement a chance to work, and jump to the conclusion that this is the norm and we should just accept it.
Try and try again
Take note that sometimes strategies, new ways of doing things and new routines take time to take effect, and we should not be under any illusion that it isn’t hard work. We may be in a different point in our lives where we’re more amenable to changing our habits or have someone who is supportive of that change, and whom helps us carry it through.
How much sleep?
Poor sleep can occur at any stage of our lives and can differ on a day to day basis. There are guidelines for the amount of sleep most people need:
|Age||Amount of sleep recommended|
|4 – 12 months||12 – 16 hours including naps|
|1 year – 2 years||11 – 14 hours including naps|
|3 years to 5 years||10 – 13 hours including naps|
|6 years – 12 hours||9 – 12 hours|
|13 years – 18 years||8 – 10 hours|
|18 years +||7 – 9 hours|
What’s stopping you getting a good night’s sleep?
Often the conditions perfect for achieving a good night’s sleep are absent. We don’t sleep alone or sleep in a house that’s quiet; and we can be woken up by our dogs barking in the night; our children crying; and our partners snoring. We also lead busy lives which might be a cause of stress, and can also interfere with our sleep.
Technology and Environmental influences
It is more apparent than ever that people engage in activities that are considered by sleep experts to interfere with sleep, such as, social media using technological devices like our phones up to an hour before bedtime; checking text messages; and reminders to play game Apps. We also watch TV up to lights out; and have sources of light and noise in our bedrooms.
You can choose to accept your sleep habits or make a healthy change?
Ask yourself how you feel after a good night’s sleep:
Are you energetic at work/ home? Do you have a spring in your step?
Do you smile more? Do you feel optimistic?
Are you living life in the moment? Do you look forward to bedtime?
Are you more tolerant? Do people want to be with you more?
Just by changing one small habit, can make a big difference, and not just with sleep, with mood too! Why not give it a try?
Check out our Top Tips…
On how to optimise your chances of getting a good night’s sleep.
|Aim to go to bed and rise at the same time every day||✔||Turn off social media devices at least an hour before your bedtime||✔|
|Have a set routine: prepare your bag/equipment/lunch for the next day||✔||Ensure your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet||✔|
|Don’t drink or eat within 2 hours of your bedtime||✔||Turn mobile phones onto airplane mode as the waves can interfere with your sleep||✔|
|If you have things on your mind, write them down to consider the next day||✔||Keep your alarm active through the holidays and apart from the occasional late night, keep to a similar bedtime||✔|