Today is World sleep day. According to an article by Health and Wellness Journalist Brittany Risher in a survey of 2,500 people from 49 countries published in January, 58 percent reported being unsatisfied with their sleep and two in five said their sleep quality has suffered since the COVID-19 crisis. So do you feel like you could sleep for a year? Lots of our beneficiaries feel like they could
" Im waking up really early it makes the days feel so long"
"I struggle to get to sleep, my mind is whirring"
Researchers blame two things for our lack of restful Zzz’s: stress and messed up circadian rhythms.
We don’t need to rehash the last 12 months to prove that all of us felt at least some extra tension. Because of this, you’ve probably experienced first-hand how stress can make existing sleep problems like insomnia worse and cause new ones.
Stress also disturbs our circadian rhythm, the internal biological clock that regulates functions such as hormonal activity, body temperature, eating and digesting, and of course sleep. Limited daylight (from not going outside as much), changes in our daily routines, and even limited social interactions can also alter circadian rhythms.
Here are some tips from the NHS to help you get a good nights sleep
If you have difficulty falling asleep, a regular bedtime routine will help you wind down and prepare for bed.
Few people manage to stick to strict bedtime routines. This is not much of a problem for most people, but for people with insomnia, irregular sleeping hours are unhelpful.
Your routine depends on what works for you, but the most important thing is working out a routine and sticking to it.
Sleep at regular times
First of all, keep regular sleeping hours. This programmes the brain and internal body clock to get used to a set routine.
Most adults need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep every night. By working out what time you need to wake up, you can set a regular bedtime schedule.
It is also important to try and wake up at the same time every day. While it may seem like a good idea to try to catch up on sleep after a bad night, doing so on a regular basis can also disrupt your sleep routine.
Make sure you wind down
Winding down is a critical stage in preparing for bed. There are lots of ways to relax:
a warm bath (not hot) will help your body reach a temperature that's ideal for rest
writing "to do" lists for the next day can organise your thoughts and clear your mind of any distractions
relaxation exercises, such as light yoga stretches, help to relax the muscles. Do not exercise vigorously, as it will have the opposite effect
relaxation CDs work by using a carefully narrated script, gentle hypnotic music and sound effects to relax you
reading a book or listening to the radio relaxes the mind by distracting it
there are a number of apps designed to help with sleep. See the NHS Apps Library
avoid using smartphones, tablets or other electronic devices for an hour or so before you go to bed as the light from the screen on these devices may have a negative effect on sleep
If you need more ideas, you can get help and advice from a GP.
You should also contact your GP if you have insomnia that lasts for more than 4 weeks.