Boost Your Sleep

Wake up calm and rested and ready for the coming day. Set yourself up for a great night’s rest with our Sleep resources.

Why is Sleep Important?

Take good care of yourself by ensuring your body has enough time to rest and rejuvenate. Sleep is essential to health. Good quality sleep is a basic human need, it helps your body repair and refresh itself so that you can function well during the day.

As the old Irish proverb says: “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book”.

Your body needs its rest and sleep. When your body is tired and not fully rested, every area of your life is affected.

Consequences of Not Sleeping

Not sleeping affects your systems in the following ways:

  • Body: low energy, weariness, fatigue
  • Mind: can make worries seem bigger and seem more difficult; poor attention, concentration and information processing; learning is impaired
  • Behaviour: low activity; irritability and irrationality; low energy to tackle problems, socialising may be impaired and this can raise stress levels
  • Environment: effect on friends, family, work
  • Spirit: low energy, feeling low

Getting Good Quality Sleep

Good sleep is of major benefit to your physical and mental health and well-being as well as your alertness and clear thinking during the working day.

Your inner body clock (Circadian Rhythm) works on a 24-hour day/night cycle. It has a huge influence on the timing and quality of our sleep. Keeping your circadian rhythm regular will have a positive effect on your sleep.

How you spend your day has a big impact on your sleep at night.

Sleep is nature’s repair and refreshment activity.

Tips for Restful and Healthy Sleep

Here are some tips for a night of restful and healthy sleep:

WHAT TO DO

  • Make sure your bed is comfortable, clean and decluttered
  • Go to bed at a regular time, avoid daylight naps, especially after 3 PM
  • Establish regular/routine times for activities such as meal times, exercise, etc.
  • Keep stress in check, daily exercise routines will help enormously
  • Get fresh air and full-spectrum¬†natural light during the day
  • Practice the habit of an unhurried and quiet ‘getting ready for bed’ routine as this gradually slows your metabolism and prepares your system for rest
  • Make sure your sleep environment (light, temperature, noise) is calm and comfortable
  • Drink hot milky drinks (with or without honey) or warm water as these have a calming effect on the body
  • Avoid using technology in bed. Leave your technology in another room or at least well divided from your bed

WHAT NOT TO DO

  • Do not drink sugary drinks, tea, coffee or fizzy drinks within 4-5 hours of bedtime as these may keep you awake
  • Do not watch TV, listen to the radio, smoke, eat or drink in bed
  • Avoid work or studying in bed, especially at times when you need to sleep
  • Do not spend hours tossing and turning in bed. If you cannot sleep, try relaxation and letting go until you feel sleepy again. If this does not work, it is best to get up and distract yourself for a while, and then return to bed
  • Do not use medication to help you sleep. In the long run, it will only throw your body rhythm off its natural timing and sleep medication can be very addictive
  • Do not drink alcohol. It does not help sleeplessness, as it will only make you feel ‘unslept’ the next morning

How much sleep do you need?

The World Health Organisation advises that you get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. This is not easy to come by in medicine but as close as you can get to sleep and rest for this amount of time, the better you will feel. 8 hours of rest makes the other 16 hours much more manageable.

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