It is believed that up to a third of the population may suffer from insomnia (lack of sleep or poor quality sleep) which may affect mood, energy, concentration levels, our relationships and our ability to stay awake and function at work during the day. Our bodies require long periods of sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue and to synthesize hormones A lack of sleep can also have profound consequences upon physical and mental health putting us at risk of serious medical conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
How Much Sleep Do Adults Need?
The majority of adults need between six and nine hours of sleep every night however sleep deprivation has become a widespread chronic health problem and although modern society often views sleep as a luxury which ambitious or active people cannot afford, research shows that getting enough sleep is a biological necessity which is as essential to our bodies as eating, drinking, and breathing.
If you are finding it difficult to get to sleep at night a regular consistent bedtime routine will help you to wind down in the evening.
Sleep At Regular Times:
It is important to work out what time you need to wake up, so that you can set a regular bedtime schedule as sadly we are not able to accumulate sleep deprivation and then log how many hours of sleep to make up for it. The best sleep habits are consistent, healthy routines that allow us to meet our sleep needs every night.
Winding down in the evening is a crucial stage in preparing for bed:
- A warm bath will help to relax the mind and body.
- Relaxation exercises such as yoga.
- A daily mindfulness practice.
- Avoid vigorous exercise as this may overstimulate the mind and body.
- A warm milky drink or a cup of chamomile tea before bed.
- Reading a book or listening to music can help to relax the mind by distracting it.
- Writing a to do list for the next day can help to organise thoughts and clear the mind of any distractions.
- What you can eat and drink can affect sleep and stimulants such as caffeine can make it harder to sleep.
- Avoid a heavy or sugary meal close to bedtime as this can also make sleep more difficult.
- Alcohol may seem to help get you to sleep but it also reduces the quality of sleep later.
- Taking exercise during the day is a good way to aid sleep, but be mindful that exercise releases adrenaline so exercising during the evening is less helpful.
A Sleep Friendly Bedroom
- Try to keep your bedroom dark, quiet, tidy and at a temperature between 18c and 24c
- Avoid having TV’s and electronic devices in your bedroom as these can seriously disrupt sleep.
Reflexology for insomnia can really help in relaxing the body and mind, which will contribute towards a night of quality sleep. Reflexology works by stimulating the body’s internal organs via reflex points on the feet also Chinese Reflexology acupressure points may be incorporated into a treatment which can in turn improve the quality of sleep by relieving stress, anxiety and fear.