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Sleep better, not more

sleep In today’s anxiety-ridden, deadline-heavy world, our precious eight hour sleep tends to be stolen away from us and replaced with fidgeting restlessness.

Britain is an insomniac nation: the NHS spent £49.2 million on sleeping pills in 2010-2011*, up 17% in just four years, with medical professionals putting this increase down to worries about the credit crunch and unemployment.

Here are some tips to catch those missing Zs:

Diet

Eating at the correct time of day conditions the body’s metabolism to wake up and wind down, which is why breakfast is incredibly important; this is a metabolic window of opportunity that tells your body that there is a supply of food so there’s no need to shut down.

Duration

Margaret Thatcher boasted that she only needed four hours of sleep a night. Everyone’s different, its just about awareness of your needs.

Power naps

Winston Churchill was fond of naps, saying “You’re better well rested than well briefed”. Power naps are a restorative measure on the body, so taking the occasional nap helps us relax.

Dreaming

Dreams categorise memories. If we’re going through a rough patch these dreams tend to materialise into nightmares, but perhaps we should embrace them more as they are simply clues about problems that we need to face up to.

Locations

We instinctively need to feel safe before nodding off. Some people find that prefer white noise or fans to help them sleep, but it’s all about reducing the distractions and sending a message to your brain that you’re safe.

Exercise

If you over-rest you tend to feel lethargic, over-exercising could cause burnout so get the balance right. Spending hours staring at a computer can wear your brain out, but exercise ensures your body is ready to wind down when its bedtime.

For more tips and advice on saving money and time effectively, click here.

*Source: NHS Business Services Authority

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