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When was the last time you had a really good night’s sleep?  What do you think causes your poor sleep, is it within your control or outside of your control?  Do you even realise you suffer from insomnia?

Sleeplessness Is More Common Than You Think.

For some people, having coffee or tea late in the evening is a definite no-no! But for others, it’s being stressed or suffering from anxiety.  We all have different triggers that cause our lack of sleep. 

You might be surprised to find out that, over 16 million adults in the UK suffer from insomnia. Although according to Aviva’s study in 2017, after the last two years, we’re sure this could be much higher!

The Top Reasons For Poor Sleep

While everyone has a different reason for not sleeping, here are the top causes of poor sleep and long term insomnia in the UK.

Stress, Anxiety & Depression

In the top spot we have STRESS, ANXIETY and DEPRESSION!

Yes, we’ve all been there at some point in our lives, but stress and anxiety is the most common cause of insomnia in the UK.  Perhaps it’s time we all learnt to meditate and switch off, to reduce our stress levels.  Depression is serious and requires more specific support but meditation and self care are a good place to start.  The long term effects of insomnia are serious and need to be addressed asap.

Environmental

Next up we have ENVIRONMENTAL issues, and we’re not talking about wind farms and recycled shopping bags!  The temperature of your room, the street lights shining through your curtains and the noises from outside all contribute to your environment. These are not ideal to “sleep” in. 

This can be resolved by using a sleep mask, earbuds and ensuring your room is well ventilated and on the cool side. A warm stuffy room is not healthy and can cause disruption to your sleep.  

Bedding

This then leads us onto your BEDDING, and we not only mean having a comfortable mattress but your nightwear too!  Synthetic fabrics are more susceptible to causing the body to overheat, unlike natural materials. It is best to use fabrics such as cottons, silks and linens for example.  For tips on choosing the right mattress click here

Psychotopic drugs

We don’t want to ruin your enjoyment, however ALCOHOL, SMOKING and CAFFEINE are all the enemy of sleep!  If you suffer from insomnia, it may be worthwhile cutting these out one at a time and see the difference it can make to your sleep. Try a relaxing naturally calming drink before bedtime, to help you sleep more easily.

RECREATIONAL DRUGS, trick the brain into being more active, need we say any more unless you don’t want to sleep for the next 2-3 days!

Bedtime Routine

Changes to your WAKE/SLEEP times.  That early morning flight, travel over time zones and even shift work, all disrupt your natural circadian rhythm.  Travel is a short term problem, however regular travel across time-zones etc can have a lasting effect and make it harder to get your circadian rhythm back. 

Night shifts also have this effect and confuse your body to waking up at night when the sun has set, but sleeping during the day when the sun is up, causing the drop in melatonin.  Without the release of melatonin your body clock will be confused as to when it is supposed to sleep, and cause insomnia long term.  

Long and short term illnesses

Lastly, ILLNESS.  From a simple cold to suffering from the side effects of cancer treatments for example, this will affect your sleep.  Try to restore a healthy sleep hygiene by taking time to “wind down” at least 2 hours before you want to hit the pillow!  From a warm bath, reading a good book with a relaxing hot chocolate drink to a natural sleep supplement can help.

Dim your lights, spray your pillow with a relaxing fragrance such as The Night Spray and avoid blue screen (laptop, phone, tablet). This will ensure your body starts the process to release melatonin after sundown.  

WARNING: If you are on medication, always speak to your doctor before consuming natural sleep aids.

To Conclude On Poor Sleep:


Whatever keeps you awake, remember you’re not alone in this.   Nearly 67% of UK adults suffer from lack of sleep!  The average sufferer has around 6 hours sleep.  Why not try to make sure you have at least 7-9 hours, by following a few simple steps for a great night’s sleep

It’s important to understand what happens during your sleep cycle. You will have several during the night, and if you continue to wake up too soon, you fail to benefit from the fourth stage of REM sleep. Over a long period, this can be detrimental to your overall health.

So take action today and where possible, remove what causes your poor sleep. Start practising a routine that will enhance your sleep.

Keep Calm and #sleephappy!   

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