If you are having trouble sleeping then this postcard could be of help.
When does poor sleeping become a problem? Most people find it hard to sleep at some point. The occasional bad patch is harmless and usually rights itself. However if sleeping difficulties persist for a month or more then this can cause real problems because sleep keeps our minds and bodies healthy.
How much sleep do we need?
Most adults need 7-8hrs a night but some can get by on as little as 4hrs. People often overestimate their sleeping difficulties. Over estimating time it takes to fall asleep and underestimate the total duration of sleep. It is normal to wake briefly each night.
What causes sleeping difficulties? Snoring, stress, traumatic events such as bereavement or assault, some medicines, taking street drugs, emotional difficulties such as anxiety, depression, physical pain.
What can help?
- Avoid academic work, eating, exercising or drinking caffeine from 2hrs before bed time
- Reduce the amount of caffeine and tobacco consumed
- Avoid alcohol, may help you sleep in the first place but leads to early waking
- Do not use slimming tablets, street drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine and amphetamines as they are all stimulants and will keep you awake
- Do get enough exercise during the day, fit people tend to sleep better
- Do try reverse psychology - keep your eyes open and tell yourself to resist sleep
- Do drink a warm milky drink or caffeine free herbal tea before bed
- Do set your alarm for the same time every morning to allow your body to acquire a consistent sleep rhythm, and avoid napping during the day and sleeping in in the morning. If you must nap, restrict to no longer than 30mins - set an alarm.
- Do practice a relaxation technique that you can use to help you relax before bed time. Take a warm bath, listen to relaxing music, try aromatherapy e.g. lavender oil