As schools go back and regular routines resume after summer, The Sleep Council suggests September – or Sleeptember – is the time to focus on a better night’s sleep.
Sleeptember is a month-long campaign dedicated to promoting the healthy benefits of a good night’s sleep.
Said Lisa Artis of The Sleep Council: “During the summer months our sleeping patterns tend to change – longer, lighter evenings and holidays can result in us finding it difficult to get back into a routine. Yet many people don’t realise that sleep fulfils a vital role in keeping us healthy and happy, much like proper nutrition and exercise.
“In our tember campaign, we want people to become more aware of how well they sleep and the host of health benefits quality sleep can bring.
“Poor sleep and fatigue are common problems affecting millions of people, and just one bad night’s sleep can influence our mood, concentration and alertness. Long-term sleep deprivation has far more serious consequences and has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and stroke.”
If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, try following The Sleep Council’s Sleeptember tips:
1. Do you have the right bed? Having the correct bed for you is the foundation of a quality night’s sleep. Research shows that sleeping on an uncomfortable bed could deprive you of up to an hour’s sleep a night. We’d advise replacing your bed after around seven years.
2. Create the ideal sleep environment: A calm and relaxing bedroom is key to a good night’s sleep. Keeping your bedroom quiet, cool and dark will help create the ideal environment.
3. Turn off electronics: TVs, smart phones, laptops, radios and games consoles all have a significant impact on our sleeping habits. Using a gadget just before bed makes it harder to switch off and wind down. Even exposure to the weakest glow of blue, electronic light – such as a notification flashing up on your mobile phone – can unconsciously play havoc with your body’s circadian rhythms, keeping you alert when you should be sleepy.
4. Keep a routine: Our body’s love routine when it comes to sleep, so make sure you don’t neglect it. Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same every day helps to program the body to sleep better.
5. And breathe… Bedtime is your time to switch off – or it should be. Meditation is a great tool to help calm our minds down and relax our bodies. You could also try having a warm bath before bed, listening to quiet music, deep breathing or yoga. If you’re the sort of person who starts to worry when you get into bed, or makes ‘to do’ lists in your head, try writing down the things you need to tackle – you can deal with those in the morning after a good night’s sleep!