It is said we spend about a third of our lives sleeping. We all know sleep is essential, just as important as eating, drinking, and breathing. A good night’s sleep has massive benefits and is vital for maintaining good mental and physical health: good skin, healthier, happier, slimmer, cleverer… all the wins for a modern man.
The theme for World Sleep Day 2022 is ‘Quality Sleep, Sound Mind, Happy World’. We must take sleep seriously and aim to consistently get enough sleep every night, 7-9 hours for most adults. Not only will we feel stronger in ourselves and live better, our mindset will be in a good place, and it can also help prevent future illnesses associated with sleep deprivation. A good sleep is non-negotiable.
We’ve all had a bad night’s sleep, whether that’s after a late night out, feeling ill, or work-life stress, but constant bad nights can lead to mood swings, difficulty concentrating, memory issues and more. Not having a good rest mixed with fatigue will weigh us down physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Quality sleep helps maintain good mental health, it helps clear your mind and gets us focussed during the day. So let’s take a look at some simple ways we can get the best night’s sleep!
>Stick to a schedule
Getting into a bedtime routine is paramount, just as our parents did with us when we were young. The repetition helps us relax when our mind and body know what’s coming next. 8 hours is the goal, although 7 is enough for any healthy adult. Stay off screens at least an hour before bed, maybe pick up a book or talk instead. Do your skin-care routine, drink water
and try to go to bed at the same time each night to reinforce your sleep-wake cycle.
>Watch what you eat
Don’t ever go to bed hungry or full. Make sure you eat dinner but avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. Your discomfort might keep you up. Stay clear of nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol, too; these will take hours to wear off and won’t help when you’re trying to switch off. You may go harder on the weekends but try not to stray from your routine too much. Alcohol may make you feel sleepy, but it will disrupt your sleep pattern later in the night.
>Set your surroundings
Make sure your sleep room is ideal for rest time. Cool, dark, and quiet. Exposure to any light can make it harder for you to fall asleep. Again, avoid light-emitting screens just before bedtime and consider wearing a sleep mask, using a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs. Taking a warm bath before bed will help your mind and body soothe, and meditation will always help.
Try to avoid any daytime naps that interfere with your night-time sleep schedule. If you choose to nap, be sure to limit your downtime to up to 30 minutes and avoid doing it late in the day. If you work nights, try to take your naps later in the day rather than first thing in the morning.
Burn yourself out with some regular physical activity. Being active will tire out your body and mind and help promote better sleep. If it’s not a full-on workout, even getting outside in nature has its calming benefits, which will help you rest well. Try not to get into a full-on sweat too close to your bedtime.
This is always something that keeps us up. If you have something worrying you, something on your mind, try to work it out before bedtime. Acknowledge the situation, write down what is troubling you, and come back to it tomorrow. Meditation will also help in these circumstances to ease anxiety.
If you often have trouble sleeping and have tried the tips here and more, we recommend contacting your doctor. Identifying and treating any underlying causes that may be prohibiting you from getting a good night’s sleep can help you get the rest you deserve.