We should be spending around a third of our lives sleeping, so it is essential we know how to do it well.
Sleep and rest are vital in achieving optimum health, balance and wellbeing in your life. Lack of either could lower your immune system, memory and your mood.
If you invest time in resting and repairing your body, it could help maximise your personal, professional, and emotional potential.
Signs you may benefit from more sleep and rest include:
- Becoming easily frustrated
- Inability to make decisions
- Feeling irrationally emotional
But just how much is enough?
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep a night for adults, however, having enough sleep is as individual to you as your fingerprint. Just think of it like this, if you are waking up feeling rested, supercharged and ready for the day ahead, you had the right amount of sleep. If you’re not, then you may be having too little, or too much.
Many of us don’t get enough sleep, it is believed that 30-50% of the population is currently affected by acute insomnia.
There is a strong correlation between insomnia and stress, so if you are struggling to get to sleep or have insomnia, there may be some factors causing your struggle:
- No regular rest / relaxation practices
- Too much blue light
- Liver issues
- Anxiety and/or depression
- Sleep apnea
- Hormonal imbalances
Sleep is important for your overall wellbeing and mood as sleep deprivation can cause irritability, impatience and inability to concentrate. It can also affect:
- Cardiovascular health
- Disease and immune functions
- Reproduction system
How can I improve the quality of my sleep?
There are a number of things you can try to help improve your sleep, and just some simple changes can make the world of difference.
Why not try:
- Reducing blue light exposure from technology at night
- Avoiding stimulates in the afternoon
- Avoiding alcohol
- Not oversleeping
- Consistent waking / sleep times
- Holistic therapies such as massage or acupuncture
- Meditation / breathing techniques
- Drinking herbal tea
Taking the time to rest can dramatically improve your wellbeing.
But what exactly is rest?
Rest and relaxation are the cessation of work, exertion or activity that could result in peace, ease, relief from disturbance, mental and emotional tranquillity and healing.
True rest is:
- Taking time away from anything that stimulates the senses
- Avoiding feelings of becoming overwhelmed with emotion
- Not allowing multiple thoughts to overlap
- Relaxation of the entire body
The benefits you may experience if you are fully rested:
- Improved memory
- Improved metabolism
- Improved mood
Tips to get more rest:
- Take more time for yourself outside of work and commitments
- Don’t over commit to too many things, learn to say no when needed
- Take time to meditate
- Incorporate restorative practices into your programme such as yoga
- Ensure you take time to do the things you enjoy the most in life!