The importance of getting a good night’s sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep comes naturally to some people and not so naturally to others.  There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to put a spring in your step, make you both feel and look great.  A bad night’s sleep, however, can leave you feeling weak, grouchy and depressed.

There can be any number of reasons why this happens: diet, stress and even how your bedroom is decked out can affect your ability to fall asleep.

Unfortunately for those who struggle with sleep, as we just can’t function without it, it’s bad news for the sleepless.  The time we spend asleep allows the body to recover from the day’s activity, restore cells and consolidate memories –important activities that enable us to function during the day and be in tiptop condition.

What we all know is that a great night’s sleep brings out the best in all of us during the day – there’s no point trying to get by on less as you’ll just become moody, irritable and emotional, and that’s a bad combination for anyone!

Sleep disturbing factors.  Nowadays we generally tend to sleep a lot less, and a lot less soundly, due to the increased amount of distractions that surround to us on a daily basis: TV, Internet, sports, even the small flashing red lights from our Blackberry that adorn our bedrooms can have an adverse effect.  In addition, stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, depression can all have a significant impact on one’s sleep to a greater or lesser degree.

When is it time to worry?  If you’ve been having sleepless nights at least 3 times a week in the last month and its beginning to affect your daily life, it may be time to visit your doctor to discuss the root cause of the problem.  You may also consider going to your local, trusted pharmacist to see the various herbal sleep remedies that may be available.

In addition to discussions with either your doctor or Pharmacist, it might also be worth considering the following solutions that you can do for yourself:

Get the setting right – it is really tempting to have a TV in the bedroom – there’s nothing like curling up in bed to your favourite movie or TV programme last thing at night.  However, late night viewing habits have been associated with subconsciously disturbing one’s sleep.  Your bedroom needs to be a serene, peaceful and quiet place.   If you can, treat yourself to some gorgeously expensive bed linen – like a designer outfit it’ll make you feel great and will last years.

Make it dark  – Light pollution is an unpleasant side effect of our modern lives. It is really important to make sure that your room doesn’t let in the light.  You need to make sure that your natural sleep isn’t disturbed and best way to do this make sure your curtains are lined with a black out.  If you don’t buy them this way then you can easily buy black out from the material shop and have a tailor stitch them in. However, it’s not just light from outside that you need to be aware of. How many electronic devices are there, winking and blinking throughout the night in your room? Alarm clock displays, indicator lights plugged in chargers, red standby lights on TVs etc. All these lights sources can have an adverse and a simple solution is to use a piece of tape to cover up the offending LED/display.

Tea and Coffee – as we all know tea and coffee are stimulants so it is best to avoid drinking these after 3pm.  Try a caffeine free green tea instead or a decaf coffee to avoid having a disturbed night.

Not too much, not too late – Trying to squeeze in exercise into an already busy day is difficult and a lot of exercise has to be carried out after work for most people.  If you have to exercise during the evenings after work, then try to do it as early as possible.  Exercise can keep the brain active for hours afterwards and really cause problems when you’re trying to get to sleep.

On the menu – Always try to have a light meal preferably no rich sauces or foods that can play havoc with the digestive system and can often prevent sleep.  Keep meals light or ‘clean’, using foods such as salmon, brown rice, vegetables – not only great to nourish the body but great for the digestive system too.

 

Try and forget your worries and anxieties – Easier said than done.  Stress from work or personal worries have an immense impact on one’s sleep.  A cup of Camomile tea and a good book before turning the light out does work wonders and helps the mind to switch off.  Sometimes you just might need a little help if the root of the sleeplessness is more serious – your doctor will be able to advise you.

If you feel that a little helping hand is still required then your local Planet Pharmacy Pharmacist can advise and discuss with you our herbal remedies that are readily available.

 

  

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About planetlifestyle

Planet Lifestyle is the blog for Planet Pharmacy. Planet Lifestyle aims to give the latest and most up to date news on topics from nutrition to skin care to make-up and pharmacist tips and advice.
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