Feb 18 2016

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

Leonardo Da Vinci claimed he could get by on just six twenty minute naps per day. US entrepreneur-cum-politician Donald Trump says he only needs three hours, whereas Barack Obama tries to get at least six hours a night. For many of us, getting enough sleep can become something of an…

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Leonardo Da Vinci claimed he could get by on just six twenty minute naps per day. US entrepreneur-cum-politician Donald Trump says he only needs three hours, whereas Barack Obama tries to get at least six hours a night.

For many of us, getting enough sleep can become something of an issue. Life can be hectic at times, –  a busy career, a family to take care of and friends and family to see it’s often our resting time that takes the hit. You may formulate the opinion that sleep is something that’s a bit of a waste of time!

However, researchers have found that not getting enough sleep will reduce your chances of performing at your best. Additionally, not getting sufficient shut-eye can lead to some very serious health-related issues, including:

  • Increased risk of anxiety, depression and other stress-related illnesses
  • Greater risk of cancer and heart disease
  • A poorly-performing immune system
  • Increased chance of gaining weight
  • Memory problems
  • More prone to injury via accidents

It seems clear that sleep is as important to your health and well-being as eating right and getting enough exercise. So, if you’re struggling with your sleep quota, how do you increase your chances of getting enough kip?

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Set yourself a regular bed-time

Our bodies function best when they can achieve a natural rhythm. If you are going to bed at 10pm on some nights and at 1am on others, then you are going to knock your physical self out of kilter. You already schedule your important client meetings, so why not schedule your sleep too?

Leave the stresses behind

This can be difficult to achieve, but getting enough sleep is all about you. You’ll function better and others will reap the benefits if you are sleeping well. Try to relax by taking a hot bath before you retire or by meditating – anything you find that helps you de-stress.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol

Caffeine is designed to keep you awake, so avoid anything with caffeine in it commencing six to eight hours before you go to bed. Once you get into a regular sleeping pattern you’ll find you won’t need the ‘caffeine kick’ to buzz you awake. If you are having problems sleeping then avoid alcohol too, as alcohol will disrupt your body’s natural sleep patterns.

Your bed is (mainly) for sleep!

Your bed is not for reading in, or watching TV in, or for tapping away at your laptop in. It’s for sleeping in. Your body should fall asleep after about twenty minutes, so if you don’t, it means you’re not tired enough. Experts recommend getting out of bed and doing something rather than lying there listlessly attempting to drop off. You might what to try a little relaxing music if you’re having difficulty in falling asleep.

Once you’ve established a dedicated sleep routine you’ll soon find yourself functioning more efficiently in nearly all aspects of your life. Never underestimate the importance of getting enough sleep, and sweet dreams!

When You’re Ready To Get Serious

Becs

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Author

Becs Cronshaw