Healthy Sleep Hints and Tips
Caffeine can keep you awake or interrupt your sleep. It can also stay in your body for up to 6 hours. If you have trouble sleeping, try not to take any caffeine after 2pm, to make sure you are completely clear of it. Caffeine is also contained in drinking chocolate - so this comforting nightcap is not such a good nightcap!
Just a few changes to your daily routine can make a difference to the quality of your sleep time.
The average time it should take to fall asleep once your head rests on your pillow is 7minutes. But that is not going to happen if your head is full of the stufff of the day. So getting ready for bed doesn't happen in the 10 minutes before, as you brush your teeth and turn off the light. We need to be considering what we do during the last hour before bed time.
Here are a few suggestions to help you get ready for a good night's sleep.
- Turn off the TV - This and other electronic screens really can affect the quality of your sleep later in the night, even if you fall asleep whilst watching it. Turn off your computer, play station, tablet (and mobile phone if you use it for games etc). The optic nerves carry messages to your brain that can mess up your sleep later.
- Try to do a relaxing activity instead - listen to music, read a book (not a kindle of course!) - do a puzzle - have a relaxing bubble bath.
- Dim the lights - in natural surroundings, as the light fades it triggers a sleep inducing hormone called melatonin. This cannot happen as effectively if we have bright lights around us until we go to bed. Also remember that having sat in dim lighting for an hour, it can all be undone if you switch on the brigh bathroom light to clean teeth etc. So try to keep the bathroom lighting low too - perhaps a battery operated low light could be the solution.
- Be warm - but have a cool bed to get into. This will help you get off to sleep sooner than getting into a warm bed. Just make sure your feet are warm. Wear socks if necessary. It is very hard to get to sleep with cold feet!
Less than 6 hours sleep regularly, every night is bad for your health. More than 10 hours sleep regularly, every night is also bad for you!
If we live to 90years and beyond - we should have slept for 30 years or more!