By John Redfern
Continued from part 1 of this article…..
Well-planned strategies are essential to deep, restorative sleep you can count on, night after night. By learning to avoid common enemies of sleep and trying out a variety of healthy sleep-promoting techniques, you can discover your personal prescription to a good night’s rest. The key is to experiment because what works for some might not work as well for others and it’s important to find the sleep strategies that work best for you.
The first step to improving the quality of your rest is finding out how much sleep you need. How much sleep is enough? While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need at least eight hours of sleep each night to function at their best. Children and teenagers need more, estimated at around 9-10 hours, and babies and infants of course much more than that.
It is worthwhile to observe certain key rules in order to establish a beneficial sleep pattern, or as it is referred to, your circadian rhythm.
● Set a regular bedtime and try to stick to it. Choose a time when you usually feel tired and stick to it even at weekends when tempted to stay up later. If you need to change your current bedtime adjust it gradually by 10 minutes per day.
● Wake up at the same time every day. If you’re getting enough sleep you should wake up naturally and not need to use an alarm, but if you do it usually means that you’re not going to bed early enough.
● Take a nap if you lose some sleep. If you need to make up for a few lost hours, perhaps due to occasional social events or other reasons, take a daytime nap rather than sleeping late.
● Be wise about taking naps. Although this is a great way to recharge the batteries, particularly for older adults, try to do it in the early afternoon and limit it to thirty minutes, so not to cause insomnia.
● Fight evening drowsiness. If you find yourself getting sleepy way before your bedtime, get off the couch and do something mildly stimulating to avoid falling asleep, because if you give in to the drowsiness, you may wake up later in the night and have trouble getting back to sleep.
Many disturbed nights are also caused for couples by one of them snoring and this will keep one of the bedfellows awake – whilst the snorer may also have a disturbed night, but in a different way. This is a recipe for Health disaster and can so easily be overcome and prevented with little trouble or expense. Simple NHS approved remedies like mouthpieces will readily solve the problem. They are effective, fast-acting and a low cost solution that is readily and quickly available without prescription.
The key factors of course are to exercise more, to drink and eat less – particularly late at night, and to stop or reduce smoking. These are all areas where your GP or local Health Service will offer advice and support you as you aim for better sleep, better health, and a longer life.
– John Redfern worked for 15 years at leading London Advertising agencies writing on many international products and markets during that time, before moving into a consultancy role, where he has gained long experience of writing on important matters of personal health. John has had in-depth involvement in a broad spectrum of subjects in this area, covering all possible age groups. Through his work as a consultant to Sleeppro, John has acquired an in-depth knowledge of snoring and sleep apnoea, and the many serious health problems with which they are so closely associated.