We want to talk sleep - grab a (caffeine free) cuppa and have a read...
Two years ago the World Health Organisation declared we were in a Sleep Loss Epidemic. According to their findings, about two thirds of adults in the developed world were not getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night. And that was before the world was turned upside down with an anxiety inducing pandemic!
I know, I know, 8 hours?! Who gets 8 hours?? Have they even met a parent?! But seriously, sleep loss is linked to a number of serious health issues. Obesity, diabetes, mental health problems and alzheimers to name a few.
But what has been driving this mounting change in our sleeping patterns? (It can't just be having children as they have been around quite a while!) Smartphones? Tablets? Bad diets? Increasing work pressures? Financial tensions? The blurring of work and home life through remote working? Well, it's probably a mix of it all. We just dont 'switch' off in the same way we used to.
We thought it would be useful to gather some tips and tricks to help get more Zs. The NHS (also known as heroes) have some useful top tips on how to get to sleep and sleep better:
Keep regular sleep hours. Hands up, who is guilty of staying up later recently? In particular, from a parents point of view, I am definitely guilty of trying to squeeze and extra hour or two out of the day right now. With the juggle of children at home, two parents also trying to work at home and also the insane amount of pressure that seems to be coming from every angle - I crave for some ‘down time’ just to try and clear my mind from kids, work and stress. Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in the day so sleep is what is taking the hit.
Create a restful environment. Is your bedroom actually restful? Is it doubling up as an office? Is it messy? If so, there is an easy step to take, tidy up. If you’re working in your bedroom, clear up your work stuff at the end of he day, get it out of sight (Out of sight, out of mind and all that).
Move more, sleep better. There is nothing like the deep sleep you have after an intense gym class, right? But now we need to get a little more creative with how we keep our bodies moving as lockdown means most of us are a little more sedentary! Find your thing whether it is a run, a walk or even Joe Wicks with the little ones and make it part of your daily routine.
Confront sleeplessness. Sometimes you have to take things head on. If you can’t sleep then get up and do something. Take your mind off trying to sleep. Trying to force sleep to happen can be counterproductive.
Write down your worries. A busy mind, endless to do lists and sky high anxiety levels definitely don’t contribute to a peaceful nights slumber. Most things can’t be sorted at 2am, if they are even in your control, so try having a notepad by your bed and scribbling things down for you to take a look at in the morning.
Put down the pick me ups. Alcohol and caffeine can impact your sleep so try cutting down. A glass of wine with chocolate may feel like the perfect way to unwind (that may just be me though) but if you are struggling with getting to sleep or good sleep then it might be worth swapping to a caffeine free tea and a banana (rich in magnesium which relaxes muscles and also contains serotonin and melatonin, which encourage sleep...who knew?).
Studies have also shown that introducing a bedtime routine (just like with the kiddies!) can help our brains switch off and become ready for sleep. A little like creating a pattern that tricks your mindOur 'No More Counting Sheep' box was curated with a pattern in mind. Associating sleep with scents and calming feelings of a having a bath or having an eye pillow on your eyes is a perfectly natural way to clear your mind and prepare to drift off.
Our 'No More Counting Sheep' box was curated with a pattern in mind. Associating sleep with scents and calming feelings of a having a bath or having an eye pillow on your eyes is a perfectly natural way to clear your mind and prepare to drift off.
Do you know someone that isn't getting enough sleep? This could be the perfect gift.
Unfortunately, although all these tips can help you get to sleep...there isn’t much to help with the multiple getups through the night with young children! Hopefully, some of these tips can help you get back to sleep quickly though ❤️