Six sleep tips to get you back on track
From the golden slumber number you need, to top tips for achieving it …
Getting a good night’s sleep can be easier said than done, but new research shows that getting too little, too often can actually be bad for your health – especially as you get older.
The study, carried out by London and Paris-based researchers, tracked the health and sleep of around 8,000 UK civil servants. Two decades later, they were checked for chronic conditions, including diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Workers who’d slept five hours or less, around the age of 50, were found to be almost a third more at risk of multiple ailments, than those who slept for seven hours.
Researchers say the study shows that five hours’ sleep is the ‘tipping point’ for good health, with anything over this cutting the over-50s’ chances of multiple chronic health problems. Although experts involved in the research generally recommend about seven or eight hours as the ideal ‘slumber number’.
So, if you’re tossing and turning at night, or feeling sleep-deprived, this could be just the news you need to do something about it.
From over-the-counter remedies to seeing your GP, here are some top NHS tips to get your sleep back on track …
- Keep regular sleep hours
Making a habit of going to bed when you feel tired and getting up at roughly the same time helps teach your body to sleep better. Try to avoid napping where possible.
- Create a restful environment
Dark, quiet and cool environments generally make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Watch our video for tips on how to sleep better.
- Move more, sleep better
Not only is regular exercise good for your physical health, but it’s good for your mind too – and being active during the day can help you sleep better. Just remember to avoid vigorous activity near bedtime if it affects your sleep.
- Confront sleeplessness
If you are lying awake unable to sleep, do not force it. Get up and do something relaxing for a bit, and return to bed when you feel sleepier.
- Write down your worries
If you often lie awake worrying about tomorrow, make it a part of your daily routine before bed to write a list for the next day. This can help put your mind at rest.
- Put down the pick-me-ups
Caffeine and alcohol can stop you falling asleep and prevent deep sleep. Try to cut down on alcohol and avoid caffeine close to bedtime.
Tried these and STILL not sleeping?
Speak to a ZoomDoc doctor today to get help with your sleeping patterns by tonight. A video call with one of our GPs costs from £35 so download the ZoomDoc app now.