27 Sep Say Goodbye To Sleep Struggles
There’s no hiding from it, our worlds revolve around it… so why do many of us really struggle to get enough quality sleep?
Sleep is so important for all aspects of our health but sometimes our busy lifestyles often take their toll, leaving us struggling for energy and being able to achieve a good night’s sleep.
Do you think your rest and recovery could be improved? Keep reading to find out how to combat fatigue once and for all!
How Much Sleep Is Enough?
Each person is different, most adults need between 7-9 hours (as recommended by NHS Sleep).
Children and teens will need more than this. It is advised that we should try to avoid napping during the day as it may hinder our chances of getting a decent sleep at night (this purely depends on your working schedule as shift patterns can cause different habits).
If you are an older person and find 7-9 hours a night very tricky, maybe a nap would prove beneficial to boost your daily function.
Why Am I Tired All Of The Time?
There are many reasons why we may feel tired.
Some of the more obvious culprits might include:
Too many late nights
Long hours spent at work
A baby keeping you up at night
It is normal to feel tired from time to time but prolonged periods of tiredness can be harmful to our overall health. If the reasons for your tiredness are still unexplained after reading this blog, it may be worth checking in with your GP.
Often the quantity and quality of our sleep is affected by our lifestyle choices. For example, how active we are and what we are eating and drinking.
Why Is Sleep So Important?
We don’t need to be reminded of how great an impact being tired can have on our mood. Having a low mood and low energy levels can really affect our decision making and activity levels. Aside from our mood, lack of sleep can have very severe effects on our physical health. In terms of our day to day health, poor sleep quality can lead to increased cortisol which is a ‘stress’ hormone. Cortisol can increase appetite and make weight harder to shift.
Conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease are far more likely to occur when an individual isn’t getting enough sleep. Thus, poor sleep over a prolonged period could reduce your life expectancy… scary stuff!
So What Can We Do?
Physical Activity – doing too much or too little can impact your energy levels and sleep quality. Find a balance that works for you, so you feel happy and healthy.
Alcohol – drinking above the recommended intake of alcohol can severely impact your sleep quality (not to mention other negative health implications)
Caffeine – caffeine will impact everybody differently. Some people could have a coffee and fall to sleep seconds after, others would be bouncing off the walls for the next 7 hours. Research shows the half life of a cup of coffee is 5-6 hours, caffeine is still in our system for up to 12 hours after drinking! Listening to your body and how it reacts to caffeine will be a useful tool in improving your rest. If you know you’re quite sensitive to caffeine, perhaps try not to have any past midday to ensure an easier night’s sleep.
Sugar – most of us wouldn’t give our kids sugar before bed time for obvious reasons, so why do we allow ourselves to reach for another square of chocolate just before bed? It’s a fact we all already know!
In general, if you are finding it hard to sleep at night, try avoiding any food and drinks other than water and herbal teas in the few hours before bed.
Take Home Messages
Sleep is so important and shouldn’t be viewed as a luxury!
If you feel you can make changes to improve the quality of your sleep/ rest then it’s well worth a shot.
If you have tried everything and your tiredness is unexplained, book in to speak to your GP.
Be kind to yourself – always.
Allow yourself to enjoy life to the max and that includes rest and recuperation!
We tackle alcohol reduction, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, moving more, eating well and weight management programmes.
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