For time immemorial we have been told how important sleep is for our health and well-being. Whilst we can see the effects of a night spent tossing to and fro, there are implications for our long term health when one bad night’s sleep turns into two which turns into ‘I can’t remember the time I got a good night’s sleep.’ Let’s face it, we are the generation that want it all and are doing it all, phrases such a ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ are the motivators when it comes to quantifying success. And whilst some are able to function on a four hour Maggy Thatcher style sleep cycle, this unhealthy relationship with sleep and rest is taking it’s toll not just externally but internally and mentally.
In the UK, according to the Mental Health Foundation, around one third of the population suffers from insomnia. Insomnia is defined as a sleep disorder in which is characterised by difficulty in falling and or/staying a sleep.
Insomnia has been deemed a massive public health problem, and the most commonly reported mental health complaint in the UK, with up to one third of the population experiencing it. Typically, it involves a “vicious cycle” of racing thoughts, poor sleep, anxiety about poor sleep and “unhelpful” patterns of thoughts and behaviour.
Insomnia and poor sleep can affect mood and concentration levels and in rare cases may be fatal, the report says. It is often linked to physical problems and to periods of stress and worry.
Because we recognise the importance of a good night’s rest not only for gorgeous skin but for a healthy mind and body we have included some tips on how to improve your sleep cycle. When the world is moving at 100 miles an hour it really is vital for you to take the time to step out and let it go by.
Create a peaceful, clutter free sleep space.
I know the separation between the private and the personal is one that a lot of us struggle with but in your bedroom this should be a priority. Working from home in your bedroom is a big no, even if you are self employed! How can you ever switch off if the place where you are meant to be relaxing is also your place of work. This advice is also for hoarders. Having a load of junk cluttering your relaxation space is going to make it feel chaotic and totally in opposition to a resting place. Take the time to clear it out, allow light into places that have been marred by boxes and unused furniture. The act of doing away with the old and unused is in itself a way of unwinding and removing anxiety.
2) Have a routine.
You may feel as though you are 5 again and I am your mum but let’s face it 5 year old are bursting with energy and their skin looks great! Implementing a routine is a good way for us to approach the day and so having a bedtime routine is going to help you get to bed. Whether it starts with your evening meal or ensuring that you’ve got your skincare routine down to a T (I mean you could even do it after a big night out), this process of addressing ourselves and our needs and getting our brain programmed to recognise that these are the steps before sleep will have you away with the fairies in no time.
3) Mood lighting.
Have you ever successfully fallen asleep straight after switching the bedroom light off? My guess is no. And this is probably made worse by the fact that so many of us try and force sleep after the glare of a smart phone has been in our faces for 30 mins to an hour after the bedroom light has gone off. It’s a given most people have a phone addiction but for 8 or so hours give it a rest. I suggest sleeping with your phone away from you. This may be on the other side of the room or out of the room altogether (fortune favours the brave). The point here is that if you have your phone away from you it won’t be keeping you awake. It also guarantees that if you do wake up, you’re more likely to try and fall back to sleep instead of scrolling through FaceBook (how much could have happened in the 3 hours you’ve been asleep, seriously?!)