The fact that medical professionals agree the average human being needs around seven hours of quality sleep per night is well known. It is also widely known that teenagers and children require a little more sleep than this. However, it is worth noting that this is not a hard and fast rule the amount of sleep that you need is influenced by your unique genetics and the environment.
It’s not only how long you sleep that is important – but also how well you sleep. Some people may experience instances of interruptions to their sleep when for instance they get up during the course of the night or wake up feeling drowsy or lethargic. If you feel like this, here are some tips that can help you to enjoy a better quality of sleep.
Consistency is important – try to get into a bedtime routine where you go to sleep and wake up at the same times each night and day .
Make sure that your sleep environment is optimal. Your bedroom should be dark and cool – and there should be as little light as possible. Too much light interrupts the body’s supply of melatonin (which is essential for maintaining your body’s inner ‘clock’) and the temperature has a direct relationship with how well you sleep – it may surprise you, but a bit cooler than you think is definitely better. Your mattress should be comfortable and supportive read these Simmons Beautyrest pros and cons to help you find the best mattress for you.
Keep your bed for sleep and romance. This avoids a mental association between work and relaxation. If you have a chronic illness – or are disabled and bedridden so that you have to work from the bed then establish routines and schedules that clearly differentiate between work and relaxation – and make sure that the routine helps you to transition between the two.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine – or eat too close to bedtime. If you do in enjoy coffee or tea, then opt for the caffeine-free versions. Herbal teas such as camomile can also help you to fall asleep. If you find yourself going to the bathroom frequently during the course f the night then try and limit your intake of liquids pin the hours preceding bedtime.
A hot shower a couple of hours before bed can help you relax – it not only loosens bunched muscles but also stimulates the pineal gland to encourage the production of melatonin. This happens automatically as your body temperature slowly drops after the shower.
Limit your exposure to the blue light which is produced by electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and modern televisions. Switch off these devices 30 minutes prior to bed.
If you are still struggling then talk to your doctor. There may be medical issues (or various medications) that are affecting your sleep patterns. Keep a diary that you can show a health professional so that identifying the cause of erratic sleep is easier to diagnose. Your doctor may also recommend that you visit a sleep clinic for assessment.
Our counselors and psychologists are here to help. there are therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that can help you get a better night’s sleep. If you are experiencing sleep issues then book an appointment with us in Tokyo, Okinawa, or use the provided online form.