‘Sleep is the golden chain that binds health and our bodies together.’
Things to try:
Sleep and sleep difficulties
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day
Have a soothing routine before going to bed e.g. reading something for 15 minutes
Spend time outdoors
Create a temperature of approximately 18°C in your bedroom
Write down any distracting thoughts before going to bed
Use a pillow to raise your head as this reduces snoring or sleep apnoea
Reassess the medications you take, some can make it more difficult for you to sleep
Consider taking herbs e.g. valerian or hops
Ensure your bedroom is a restful environment e.g. use calming colours
Find your favourite sleeping position
Have a light snack and a hot milk before bedtime
Take a hot bath/shower about 1 ½ hours before bedtime
Vacuum, ventilate and turn your mattress regularly and renew it every 10 years
Practice relaxation techniques (e.g. mindfulness, progressive muscle relaxation)
Consider psychological therapies e.g. stimulus control therapy, cognitive therapy
Our team of Clinical and Counselling psychologists provides services to address the psychological and mental health needs of children, adults and families.
We are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the British Psychology Society (BPS) and are a registered provider to BUPA. We have professional and public liability insurance cover and enhanced DBS checks.
For more information about Shrewsbury Psychology Centre and the work we do please contact us: 01743 233287 firstname.lastname@example.org or have a look at our webpage www.shrewsburypsychologycentre.co.uk
What is sleep?
‘A condition of body and mind which typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended.’
The importance of sleep
Sleep is important as it helps us to stay mentally and physically healthy. As we sleep we give our bodies’ the chance to rest; during sleep our breathing becomes slower, our heart rate decreases and our metabolism slows down to conserve energy for the next day. Sleep also gives our body the chance to restore itself; muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and growth hormone release occur mostly, or in some cases, only during sleep. Furthermore, sleep is shown to be associated with an intact immune system. But sleep serves another really important function and that is to consolidate what we have learned during the day.
Did you know that you spend 1/3 of your life asleep?
The NHS recommends that adults and older adults should get 6-9 hours of sleep each night in order to stay healthy. However, according to the Sleep Council (2013) most of us don’t get enough sleep. 70% of us get less than 7 hours sleep and 40% even less than 6 hours sleep each night
Factors that affect sleep
Life events e.g. moving houses, retirement Shift work Stress Illnesses/ disorders e.g. Depression, Bipolar, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, Insomnia, Sleep apnoea Pain Medications Alcohol, drugs, caffeine
Consequences of poor sleep
Lack of energy
Impaired immune system
Increased risk of Diabetes Type 2
Getting enough good quality sleep is important for good health; however, most of us do not get the recommended amount of sleep each night due to numerous reasons. So what can you do to improve your sleep?
Things to avoid:
Avoid sleeping tablets and over the counter medication (they have side effects and only help in the short run)
Avoid doing other activities than sleeping in your bedroom
Avoid taking naps during the day, If you do nap, limit it to 1 hour before 3p.m.
Don’t watch television before going to bed
Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking before bed
Avoid having your pets in bed
Avoid spicy food
Avoid looking at the clock when falling asleep or waking up during the night