HOW SLEEP HELPS
Sleep may seem like a waste of time. You could instead be answering e-mail, doing the dishes or repairing the deck. But research shows that you’re more likely to succeed at your tasks—and enjoy greater well-being—if you get some good quality sleep.
Of course, it’s not easy to sleep when you’re feeling overwhelmed. In fact, nearly two-thirds of Australians say they lose sleep because of stress. That’s especially unfortunate because sleep combats some of the fallout of stress, and poor sleep has been linked to significant problems, including:
- greater risk of depression and anxiety
- increased risk of heart disease and cancer
- impaired memory
- reduced immune system functioning
- weight gain
- greater likelihood of accidents
CREATING GOOD NIGHTS
Are You Getting Enough Rest?
Experts suggest that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Everyone is different, though, and you may need more after a few days of burning the midnight oil. To assess your sleep deficit, ask yourself:
- Am I often tired?
- Am I using caffeine to get through the day?
- Do I sleep well?
- Do I wake up feeling refreshed?
- Do I get drowsy while driving or watching TV?
Tips for Upping Your Sleep
To sleep longer—and better—consider these suggestions:
- Set a regular bedtime. Your body craves consistency, plus you’re more likely to get enough sleep if you schedule rest like your other important tasks.
- De-caffeinate yourself. Drinking caffeine to stay awake during the day can keep you up at night. Try resisting the coffee and colas starting six to eight hours before bed.
- De-stress yourself. Relax by taking a hot bath, meditating or envisioning a soothing scene while lying in bed. Turn off daytime worries by finishing any next-day preparations about an hour before bed.
- Exercise. Working out can improve sleep in lots of ways, including by relieving muscle tension. Don’t work out right before bed, though, since exercise may make you more alert. If you like, try gentle upper-body stretches to help transition into sleep.
- Make your bed a sleep haven. No paying bills or writing reports in bed. Also, if you can’t fall asleep after 15 minutes you can try some soothing music, but if you remain alert experts recommend getting up until you feel more tired.
For more well-being advise go to: eapassist.com.au