Good quality sleep can improve your mental health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, make it easier to lose weight and helps you live longer!
1 in 3 of us suffer from poor sleep. Quality of sleep is not just about the hours you get, it’s about getting enough deep sleep.
Regularly getting poor sleep results in fatigue which not only affects your mental health but also becomes a risk to safety at work.
What is preventing your sleep?
Using screens before bed keeps your mind overly active. They also emit blue light which keeps you more alert and unable to enter a deep sleep.
Try to avoid screens at least an hour before bed.
After a few drinks you may fall asleep quickly and not wake up until the morning. In reality, your quality of sleep is very poor. Alcohol also affects the brain signals which are normally released during sleep. This impacts the way your body repairs itself.
Drugs that are stimulants will leave you feeling wide awake and unable to sleep. But also, the days following on from using these drugs you may still struggle to sleep and suffer from unpleasant dreams.
It can take up to 8 hours for caffeine to flush through your body, therefore its suggested to avoid caffeine at least 8 hours before bed to get good quality sleep.
Exercise has been proven to benefit your sleep. However, exercising too close to bed can make you more awake, making it harder to get to sleep.
To get regular good quality you need a sleep routine. If this interrupted by shift work, it can make it harder to have a good sleep routine as your body struggles to adjust to the constant changes.
When you sleep in the day try to ensure your room is as dark and quiet as possible and make sure you haven’t drunk lots of caffeine to keep you going through the night!
Managing Your Fatigue
Due to the physical demands of your job, it is important to know how to manage fatigue.
Getting good quality sleep is a key factor in managing your fatigue, but there’s a few more steps to try:
- Eat well. Fuel your body with food that will give you a slow release of energy throughout the day.
- Try to lose weight. Carrying excess weight can put extra strain on your body and heart, making you more tired.
- Manage your stress. Managing the stressful things in your life will help you feel less drained.
- Make some lifestyle changes. Making these changes will improve your overall energy. E.g. Giving up alcohol in the week, or exercising 3 times a week
Struggling getting to sleep
It is common to struggle getting to sleep. Whether its due to stress, anxiety, blue light exposure, long daytime naps or caffeine or alcohol.
- It’s difficult to sleep with lots on your mind. Before you go to bed try writing down what’s on your mind.
- Use sleeping apps. There’s lots of apps at the end of this TBT.
- Ensure your room is as dark as possible. Even something like a standby light can prevent you from getting to sleep.
- Keep to a routine. Every night follow your routine, this make your body wind down for sleep
Waking up during the night
It’s normal to wake up once or twice in a night however if you’re waking up frequently its worth considering why this may be. Usually, the key reason is stress.
If you do find yourself waking up in the night and struggle to get back to sleep follow these steps:
- Don’t turn your lights on and avoid loud sounds, as it will wake you up too much
- Avoid checking your phone
- Try some breathing exercises, it can relax your body, helping you sleep
- If it has been over 20 minutes and you still haven’t got back to sleep, try moving around or move to a different room to help relax yourself.
Useful Apps to Try