A Good Night’s Sleep?!
Are you ready for the clocks to go back this weekend? At 2am on Sunday 25th October our clocks will wind back an hour to 1am; which actually means that you get an extra hour in bed! YAY! For many of us this will be a bonus, as our daily lives are jam-packed with activities, events and juggling! However it does mean that the evenings will be darker and longer…
Every year at 2am on the last Sunday of October the clocks fall back an hour and similarly, at 1am on the last Sunday of March the clocks go forward an hour; this is known as ‘Daylight Saving.’ Just like we do with all of the pillars of wellbeing, Tonic want to take this opportunity to reinforce the importance sleep. Namely getting ‘enough’ sleep (quantity) and having a ‘good’ sleep (quality)! The importance of sleep should NEVER be overlooked.
A good night’s sleep is vital to our physical health and psychological wellbeing. Sleep improves our memory and mood, reduces stress, helps us to maintain our weight, affects our performance and much more.
Your Relationship With Sleep
According to the National Institutes of Health:
“The average adult sleeps less than seven hours per night. In today’s fast-paced society, six or seven hours of sleep may sound pretty good when really it’s a recipe for chronic sleep deprivation.”
When it comes to your relationship with sleep, how would you describe it? Do you prioritise it? Do you think you are getting enough quality sleep every night? The simple answer to these is most probably not…
However, the benefits of prioritising sleep are astonishing and extensive research shows that getting enough quality sleep on a regular basis can help improve many health, wellbeing and lifestyle challenges; including your blood sugar levels, your immunity and even your mood.
Did you know that a lack of sleep (quality and quantity) can result in:
- Low or no energy
- Weight gain
- Prone to accidents
- Low and irritable mood
- Higher stress levels
- Risk of metabolic syndrome
- Low immunity
How to Get A Good Night’s Sleep?
Whether you find yourself struggling to get out of bed in the morning, you regularly feel sluggish in the afternoon, you get drowsy after meals or when driving or you simply find yourself snoozing your alarm every morning – these are signs that you are sleep deprived.
Factors such as too much alcohol, your sleeping environment, medication, a poor diet and exhaustion and stress also contribute hugely to reasons why you are not getting enough quality sleep. See our check list below for more ideas to help your nightly recovery. And please remember that without adequate recovery your batteries start to drain!!
Tonic’s “Sleep-well” Check List
Going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday will dramatically help you establish a good sleep routine.
- QUIET TIME & LIGHT
Use the hour before bed for quiet time. Avoid artificial light (blue light) such as from a TV, computer screen or your mobile phone. Show your brain it is time for bed, have a device curfew. Evidence shows that ‘device’ use before bed can reduce the amount of melatonin you produce by up to 50%!
Avoid heavy and / or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. Some professionals go as far as promoting time restricted eating to help with sleep. So eating within a 12-hour window and ideally sleeping within 8 of the other 12 hours.
Avoid nicotine such as cigarettes and caffeine. Nicotine and caffeine are powerful stimulants and can both interfere with sleep. The effects of caffeine can last as long as 8 hours.
- FRESH AIR
Spend time outside every day when possible and try to be more physically active. However, avoid vigorous activity three hours before bed.
“In short, getting enough quality sleep affects everything when it comes to our health and our happiness. From losing weight, having better concentration levels to reducing your risk of developing an illness.”
By now we are hoping that you have heard about (or hopefully already a subscriber) to Tonic’s well@work wellbeing app. In the app, our Wellbeing Hub is full of informative and effective Tonic Topics, Boosts, Pathways and Media – all related to improving your mental and physical wellbeing.
September’s topic was all about SLEEP:
- Why it should be prioritised
- How many hours a night we need
- The effects of sleep deprivation
- Sleep and physical activity
- Sleep and your health
- How to boost your energy levels
- How to get the balance right
When you fall asleep your body enters a recovery state that is essential to our health & wellbeing. When you get a good night’s sleep, your heart rate gradually decreases, heart rate variability (changes in the length of time between consecutive beats) increases, and your core body temperature decreases. Blood pressure also decreases and there is also a reduction in the production of stress hormones like cortisol.
If this is NOT you and you feel that you are not getting either enough sleep or your quality of sleep is impaired then your health and wellbeing will be affected. If you would like guidance on how to measure this and then improve it, we can help. We have #polar and #firstbeat devices along with experts to coach you do just this!!
Whether you are an employer or an employee, to find out more about Tonic and our wellbeing services simply email us at email@example.com or contact us via our website.
Here’s to an extra hour in bed this weekend and hopefully a better relationship with sleep in general!