Yes you read it right! And no it’s not about sleeping the day away before you get excited!
Well then, what is World Sleep Day? I hear you say…
World Sleep Day is held the Friday before Spring Vernal Equinox of each year. WSD is an internationally recognized awareness event bringing researchers, health professionals and patients together to recognize sleep and its important impact on our health.
World Sleep day is more than just a day though, it is about helping yourself and family members to learn how to adjust to a better sleep pattern over time….
As many of you know I am also a qualified Insomnia Practitioner and I have been able to advice and help clients to a better sleep for more than just one night! It takes time to break habits that are formed over a lifetime and the one aim is to obtain quality and beneficial sleep! The first step is working on “how to” and along with breaking habits and introducing new ideas establishing a pattern can begin.
How to Get better sleep!
Some healthy sleep habits are: establishing a regular sleep and wake schedule, eliminating disturbances, and getting an adequate amount of sleep each night.
Improve your sleep through diet and exercise. Sleep Specialist will always suggests avoiding caffeine, getting regular exercise, getting sunglight, and not eating too late in order to help improve your sleep.
We spend up to one-third of our lives sleeping. Sleep is a basic human need, much like eating and drinking, and is crucial to our overall health and well-being.
- Sleep, like exercise and nutrition, is essential for metabolic regulation in children. There is evidence for a link between sleep duration and childhood obesity. The findings are more apparent in girls. Sleep duration is the effect of day-to-day variability of sleep-wake timing on weight regulation.
- Breathing regularly during sleep is critical to maintain well-being and health. Persistent interruption of the breathing function during sleep is called sleep apnea. This is a pervasive and common disorder that affects 4% of men and 2% of women.
- Sleep apnea causes daytime sleepiness and fatigue, and may lead to conditions such as hypertension, ischemic heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
- Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep is known to have a significant negative impact on our health in the long and short term. Next day effects of poor quality sleep include a negative impact on our attention span, memory recall and learning. Longer term effects are being studied, but poor quality sleep or sleep deprivation has been associated with significant health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, weakened immune systems and even some cancers.
- Lack of sleep is related to many psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety and psychosis.
- Quality sleep is crucial to ensure good health and quality of life.
GENERAL SLEEP FACTS
Three elements of good quality sleep are:
Duration: The length of sleep should be sufficient for the sleeper to be rested and alert the following day.
Continuity: Sleep periods should be seamless without fragmentation.
Depth: Sleep should be deep enough to be restorative.
I am not suggesting and never have suggested to my clients that these steps to a better night should always be done at once, because it is indeed far more beneficial to work a routine that suits you and your lifestyle. This said, over a week you can actually make an impact on your sleep pattern just by changing some of your habits that have been formed over time. It is like any habit that needs to be broken or changed.
“It is easier to achieve regular sleep when we set ourselves up for success,” Michael A. Grandner, PhD, MTR.
This means getting up at a regular time each day, preferably followed by bright light exposure and some movement to send a reliable daytime signal. Then, in the evening, budgeting sufficient time to wind down and detach is critical for being able to initiate sleep.
Finally, maintaining good stimulus control (getting out of bed if you can’t sleep) will help build some resilience in the system.
Taking these three things together—starting the morning, setting up the evening, and inoculating against night time disturbances—will help in the search for regular sleep.
10 Steps to a introduce a better night’s sleep
- Fix a bedtime and an awakening time.
- If you are in the habit of taking siestas, do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep.
- Avoid excessive alcohol ingestion 4 hours before bedtime and do not smoke.
- Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate.
- Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable.
- Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.
- Use comfortable bedding.
- Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated.
- Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible.
- 10. Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. Don’t use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room.
And whilst you are introducing new patterns and habits you can include your family also….Children will sleep when they need to, it’s true! Like adults they also need a happy, healthy bedtime routine….change is for the good 🙂
Healthier Sleep in Children [Aged Birth-12 Years]
Have your child go to bed at the same time every night, preferably before 9:00PM.
Your child should have an age-appropriate nap schedule.
Establish a consistent, positive bedtime routine (this can include brushing teeth, songs, bedtime stories).
The bedroom should be sleep friendly– cool, dark, and quiet.
Encourage your child to fall asleep independently.
Your child should avoid bright light at bedtime and during the night, and increase light exposure in the morning.
Have your child avoid heavy meals and vigorous exercise close to bedtime.
Keep all electronics, including televisions, computers, and cell phones, out of the child’s bedroom and limit the use of electronics before bedtime.
Your child should avoid caffeine, including many sodas, coffee, and teas (as well as iced tea), and chocolate.
Have your child keep a regular daily schedule, including consistent mealtimes.
If you would like to read more with regards to a Better Night’s Sleep which could in the end be a better week – month – year then please do head over to my other articles I have written… http://holistically-yours.com/insomnia/
And if you would like to have a “chat” with regards to taking further steps or indeed having a refresher and catch up then please do not hesitate to contact me!
Here’s to a good restful sleep!
Please feel free to share this article – you never know someone may just need to read it and know they should and can get some help to aid “Better Sleep”