At Westside Wellness we often spend 20 minutes in a consult trying to work out how much sleep our clients are getting - this is because because sleep is critical to improving many bodily functions.
7 to 8 hours is considered the average amount of time people need to sleep each night to be adequately rested. But why do we need to spend so many of our hours of each sleeping? And how exactly can people improve their sleep patterns?
Sleep is critical for memory, growth, metabolism, improved concentration and mood, healthy cardiovascular function and more. People who don't get enough sleep run the risk of more traffic accidents due to slower reaction times, vision disturbances and poor decision-making. Chronic sleep deficiency leads to a higher risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Sleep retraining is a process you can undertake if your sleep is sub-optimal (generally less or more than 7-8 hours per night, depending on a person's age).
One of the best ways to regulate your body clock is to restrict your body of sleep to re-establish sleep patterns. They way you can do this is get out of bed at the same time each morning, irrelevant of how much sleep you have had the night before.
Other Tips and Tricks
- Do not force yourself to go to sleep. If you are not asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed, then it is important to leave the bed and do something that you would consider uninteresting, like read a magazine on a topic that doesn’t interest you.
- Avoid light exposure such as TV, mobile phones, bright reading lamps or laptops. Make sure your phone and laptop use 'night shift' settings to change the light spectrum used by these appliances after 7pm.
- Increase the distance between your sleeping space and wifi-router, electricity metre or major power source/appliances. These items have all been shown to affect sleep patterns and reduce melatonin production (a hormone required for sleep).
- Limit caffeine intake (black and green tea, coffee, chocolate and energy drinks). Avoid caffeine after midday.
- Use your bed for sleep: avoid studying, watching TV or doing any activities other than sleeping or sex in bed.
- Remove electronics from your bedroom: like clock radios, TV and turn your mobile phone. to flight mode
- Daily exercise is shown to improve sleep. Running, walking, yoga, and swimming are all useful in regulating your sleep patterns.
- Avoid napping during day as this only alters your wake/sleep pattern.
- Alcohol is shown to stimulate the brain, avoid drinking alcohol before bed.
- Get 10 mins of sunlight exposure daily.
Need more help to get a decent night's rest?
Contact our team or book online to arrange for a naturopath to come and visit you and determine an individual tailored-approach to getting your body a good night's sleep.