The amount of time you spend giving your mind and body some well deserved rest is as important a consideration as how your organise your waking hours. We are constantly reminded of the value of time management skills but it is often forgotten that this involves time spent asleep, and that we all need it. Nobody can do their best or enjoy their time properly if they haven't had enough sleep. It may be the one thing you don't prioritise, perhaps a string of late nights won't matter to you, but to your mind and body they really will. Perhaps you don't really think about it that much, or perhaps you worry about it. The following information is just to help you think about how much sleep you should be getting, whether you already do, and if not, how to go about indulging in some shut-eye.
What does it do and how much do we need?
- For peak performance during the day about four or five 90-minute sleep cycles are needed to rest and re-charge the brain.
- Each cycle combines deep sleep that brings rest, and REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep during which it's believed brain chemicals are released that help tasks such as learning to be performed more easily.
Overcoming sleep problems
Here are some tips on getting good sleep:
- Go to bed and get up at the same time everyday, including your days off.
- Keep your bedroom for sleep, not work and TV.
- Avoid heavy meals, caffeine ,nicotine , and alcohol for 3-4 hours before going to bed.
- Don't exercise within 3 hours of bedtime.
You getting enough?
If you can answer 'no' to all of these then you are probably getting enough sleep:
- Do you sleep longer than usual on the weekends?
- Do you feel drowsy or nod off during the afternoon?
- Do you fall asleep within around 5 minutes of being in bed (It takes people who are getting enough sleep around 10-20 minutes to fall asleep)?
If you are experiencing sleep difficulties, have a browse around here. Also consider consulting your GP.