Sleep is just as important for our health as is nutrition and fitness, according to the Sleep Health Foundation. But you aren’t alone if you are having difficulties with insomnia – research by the Sleep Health Foundation in 2010 using 1512 individuals (males and females, of different ages, and from different areas in Australia) found that 20 percent of respondents had frequent trouble falling asleep, and 35% reported frequent awakening during the night.
Sleep problems are quite common, but there are a few things you can do to help. Here are three:
Your beliefs about sleep can help you or get in the way of a fantastic night’s sleep. It is important to rethink some of those unhelpful beliefs, as this can create a real change in your sleep quality. We’ve listed some of the more common myths and the truth about these below:
Eight hours is only an average. Some people are able to work well with less and some people need more.
Myth 2 -“Napping Isn’t a good idea”
Naps can actually be quite beneficial provided they are short (typically less than 20-30 minutes) and not too close to your regular sleep time.
Myth 3 -“A Great sleep is one where I sleep soundly through the night”
In fact, there we typically have sleep cycles of about 90 minutes’ duration, and we could move through up to 4 stages of sleep in each cycle, which range from mild sleep (even brief awakenings that we might not remember) to deep sleep.
Myth 4 -“Successful people do not need much sleep”
You may have heard that famous people like Leonardo Da Vinci or Winston Churchill did not need much sleep. In fact, it is not as simple as that. Some people obviously need less sleep. Furthermore, some famous people took catnaps, while others would sleep for lengthy periods of time once the pace of work was slower.
Dark rings can frequently be caused by food allergies or other factors.
Myth 6 – “Alcohol helps me to sleep”
Alcohol can help sleep onset if it’s taken early in the evening, but later on, as it is being processed by the body, it can actually decrease the likelihood for a person to enter the deeper, more restorative, phases of sleep.
2) Boost your”sleep hygiene”.
Engaging in healthy habits associated with your sleep can make a difference to the quality and duration of your sleep. The Majority of these habits are common sense, but it can be helpful to brush them up by checking the following list:
• Avoid stimulants like nicotine and caffeine close to bedtime.
• Check the terms for sleep are as best as you can create them. By way of instance, ensure you are not too hot or too cold, your mattress and pillow are comfortable, noise is minimised, and light is minimised.
• Try to find some (sun-safe!) Exposure to sun during waking hours. This helps to regulate the melatonin levels in your body – an important hormone related to the sleep cycle.
• Avoid heavy or rich foods before sleep as they can lead to heartburn that disrupts sleep.
• Try not to use electronic devices with screens on the bed. Using a device is very likely to boost your emotional and/or cognitive levels, and boost activation due to the increased light. Furthermore, you may be weakening the institution the mind makes that”bed = sleep.”
• Try to avoid naps if it is less than 6-8 hours before your normal sleep time.
• Try to get a regular night-time routine.
• Try not to keep watching the clock if you’re having trouble sleeping.
• If you aren’t asleep within what feels like 20 minutes in bed, go to another room with minimal stimulation until you feel like sleeping .
3) Visit a health professional
Sleep disturbances could be related to a range of psychological, physiological, or medical issues. There has also been increasing awareness that sleep disturbances can be problems in their own right – in fact, the DSM-V identifies 10 sleep-wake disorder groups, such as insomnia disorder, breathing-related sleep disorders, and circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders. If you’re concerned about your sleep, then it’d be a fantastic idea to talk to your GP or psychologist and they can help to correctly evaluate your difficulties and provide you with evidence-based treatment choices.