21 September, 2015

Sleep is very important and it affects our health and wellbeing. It is as important as eating, drinking and breathing. When we sleep our brains process information and our bodies repair themselves. When somebody isn’t sleeping well it can affect their immune system and it can also affect their mental health eg. people can become anxious.

In particular night shift workers are at risk for sleep deprivation. Stress can cause short-term sleeping difficulties. Drinking alcohol or drinks that contain caffeine in the afternoon or evening, doing activities that are mentally intense near bedtime, being in a bedroom that is too hot, cold, noisy or bright, travelling and exercising close to bedtime can disrupt sleep. The amount of sleep that we need depends on many different things including age.

Sleep hygiene is very important. Below are some ideas around how you can improve your sleep hygiene:

-Get regular exercise.

-Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before going to sleep.

-Don’t drink drinks with caffeine 4-6 hours before going to bed and minimize daytime use.

-Changing the light, noise and temperature in the room.

-Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule.

-Try and wake up without an alarm clock.

-Go to bed at the same time every night.