According to the UK Mental Health Foundation, 1 in 3 people now have problems with sleep. In the last 50 years, The National Sleep Foundation says the average amount of sleep we get has reduced from 8 to 7 hours – that’s a month of sleep lost each year.
People who struggle with sleep often fall into 2 categories:
Those who can't get to sleep
Those who wake in the middle of the night or the early hours
Sleep can be affected by myriad factors like stress, anxiety, depression or chronic pain, to name a few, and often when we’ve had a bad night’s sleep, we don’t feel on top of our game mentally or physically.
Why is sleep so vital?
Sleep offers the body time to repair and recharge each night. Between the hours of 10pm-2am the real physical repair process happens, and between 2-6am psychological repair processes take place – a little spring clean for the brain.
There’s no simple answer to how much sleep we need as every individual is different, and healthy sleep patterns can range from 4 to 10 hours per night. Although 4 is at the lower end and we certainly wouldn’t recommend this amount of sleep for a long period of time.
Good sleep hygiene for all
Sleep hygiene works on the idea that many (but not all) sleep problems are due to bad habits. Here are three very simple steps you can take to improve your sleep hygiene. We know you’ve heard these before, but have you mindfully tried each one, or just thought about them? How did you get on?
Go to bed and get up at the same time each day – it’s so simple but we rarely do it
Use your bedroom for sleeping and relaxing only – absolutely no screen time
Try some breathing techniques as you lie in bed, like inhaling for a count of 3 or 4 and exhaling to a count of 6 or 8. This helps relax the nervous system
You could try some herbs to aid your sleep as well. Ashwagandha is a hero herb for helping calm anxious nerves. Valerian is another traditional sleeping tonic and natural sedative used in lots of sleeping tablets, including our very own Night Time supplement, which also contains ashwagandha. Not forgetting our sweet, organic