Today is World Sleep Day 2019.
World Sleep day is an annual event, intended to be a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues related to sleep.
It could be said that the western world is going through a crisis when it comes to good quality sleep. According to The Sleep Council’s ‘Great British Bedtime Report’; 35% of the UK population has suffered from sleeping problems for more than 5 years, with 20% suffering for more than 10 years.
Sleep is a basic human need
Sleep is a basic human need, much like eating and drinking, and is crucial to our overall health and well-being. Research shows that we spend up to one-third of our lives sleeping.
Dr. Erik St. Louis, Co-Director of the Mayo Center for Sleep Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, says, “For most adults, getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep tonight might be the most important thing we can do to improve our future physical and mental health. Children need even more sleep for optimal learning and play. Recent research has shown the importance of adequate amounts of sleep for brain health, since during sleep, the brain washes away toxins that can potentially damage the aging brain that accumulate during the day while we’re awake. Sleep also keeps the brain’s wiring and connections healthy and working at their best, especially when learning and remembering new things from earlier in the day.”
Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep is known to have a significant negative impact on our health in the long and short term. Next day effects of poor quality sleep include a negative impact on our attention span, memory recall and learning. Poor quality sleep or sleep deprivation has been associated with significant health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, weakened immune systems and even some cancers. Lack of sleep is related to many psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety and psychosis.
Early research indicates that sleep may also play a part in cleaning our brains of toxins such as lipids and proteins. If not expelled, these products may clog the brain which are believed to be involved in cognitive decline such as Alzheimer's disease and forms of dementia.
Sleep quality is key
Studies suggest that sleep quality rather than quantity has a greater impact on quality of life and daytime functioning. The three elements of good quality sleep are:
Duration: The length of sleep should be sufficient for the sleeper to be rested and alert the following day.
Continuity: Sleep periods should be seamless without fragmentation.
Depth: Sleep should be deep enough to be restorative.
Achieving good quality sleep
To achieve quality sleep the World Sleep Day site recommends the following:
10 Commandments of Sleep Hygiene for Adults
Fix a bedtime and an awakening time.
If you are in the habit of taking siestas, do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep.
Avoid excessive alcohol ingestion 4 hours before bedtime and do not smoke.
Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate.
Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable.
Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.
Use comfortable bedding.
Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated.
Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible.
Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. Don’t use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room.
Download your free "Monkey Mind" Brain Calmer - Get to Sleep Tool!
We all get 'Monkey Mind' from time to time - where our brain roams out of control - swinging from one thing to the next. Sometimes it's exciting: plans we're making, ideas we have. Other times it can be a long catalogue of things to remember, worries and 'shoulds'. Often it's a mix of both. Of course the worst time to have 'Monkey Mind' is when we're trying to go to sleep. This super simple tool calms that 'Monkey Mind' so you can get the sleep you deserve! You can download it here.
Ready to take action?
If you'd like coaching to help you improve the quality and qauntity of your sleep, contact me today on 021 056 8389 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Book Now button below.
Wishing you a calm and peaceful week.
REMEMBER - "When you change your mind you change your life."
Tony helps individuals to harness the power of their mind to achieve success and well-being in life, work and business. Tony's particular area of expertise lies in helping people to 'change their minds' so they gain freedom from worry, anxiety and stress, overcome limiting beliefs and unhelpful habits. Tony’s solution focused approach to coaching uses a range of techniques drawn from the fields of solution focused coaching, neuroscience, positive psychology and clinical hypnosis.