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Malaysia +60 10 2931547                    Hong Kong +852 94094299 

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Ten Top Tips For A Better Night’s Sleep

Sleep is absolutely essential for good mental health, It allows our bodies to repair themselves and our brains to consolidate our memories and process information. You probably already know that when you sleep well you feel and work better. 

Sleep is the best form of meditation.
Dalai Lama


In general, adults need between 7 and 9 hours sleep but the exact amount will vary from person-to-person. According to a recent Mental Health UK report, "We all need different amounts of sleep. Different species of animals require vastly different amounts, as shown in the estimated average sleep times of several species".

Essentially, different people are in need of different amounts of sleep, and this depends on your age, your lifestyle, your genes and what you’re used to. 

A good night's sleep will not rid your life of emotional problems, however, it can mean that you're able to deal with difficult or stressful environments far easier than if you were in a sleepier state. If you’re not getting enough sleep you tend to feel moody and irritable and lack focus. Obviously, this problem is likely to affect your relationships with people, your work and your mental well-being if continually ignored. 


So how can you improve your sleep?


Here are ten top tips for a better night’s sleep:

1. Stay Active During The Day

Regular exercise during the day is obviously quite difficult when living a 9-5 lifestyle that many of us are. Yet, here are 20 exercises you can do at your desk in any office! Being active increases your metabolism and helps stress and anxiety which in turn will help improve your sleep. Try to exercise earlier in the day or if you prefer late in the evening remember to leave yourself time before you sleep so that your body can settle down after your workout.


2. Monitor What You Eat And Drink

Avoid heavy and spicy food just before bed as it raises the body's metabolism and brain activity. A light snack before bedtime is ideal. Avoiding caffeine is also a must as it can stay in your system for up to 6 hours and disrupt your sleep. A glass of wine may help you to fall asleep, but alcohol can affect the quality of your sleep, making you more likely to wake up during the night. Nicotine is a stimulant and studies suggest that non-smokers get better sleep than smokers. 

3. Make your bedroom more sleep-friendly

Create a calm sleeping environment by turning your bedroom into a dark, quiet, clean and comfortable haven. A good temperature is between 18C and 24C. You may want to try black-out curtains, eye shades or ear plugs. Paint your room a calming colour. Remove any distractions that may keep you awake (including the family pets!) and keep your bedroom free from computers, TVs and phones. Is your mattress old? Is your pillow lumpy? Spoil yourself and invest in some new bedding.

4. Develop a bedtime ritual

Try to develop a relaxing night-time routine that prepares your body and mind for sleep. It could be taking a hot bath, reading a book, listening to calming music or having a milky drink – but try to stay away from bright lights and heated arguments just before bedtime.

5. Relax and unwind

Whether you need to stretch your muscles with yoga or calming your mind with meditation, there are numerous classes, apps, and books that can show you great methods to do both. Experiment and see what works for you. Some people find using a few drops of aromatherapy oil on the pillow, such as lavender, or a cup of chamomile tea to be soothing before bed time.

6. Don’t toss and turn – get out of bed instead

If you can’t fall asleep after half an hour, get up and do something else instead – try something relaxing like reading or listening to music. Only go back to bed when you feel tired. Similarly, if you find you’re dozing off on the sofa too early in the evening, get up and do a few jobs so that you save your snoozing for bedtime.

7. Stop the weekend lie-ins

Keep a regular sleep schedule. If you go to sleep and get up at the same time every day (even if you’re not feeling tired) it can help you get into a good sleep routine. Resist having naps during the day and don’t sleep in at the weekend.

8. Keep a sleep diary

It can be difficult to work out why you have problems sleeping. Keeping a sleep diary (or using a wearable device that tracks your sleep) can help you monitor when you fall asleep and wake up, how many times you wake up during the night and how rested you feel in the morning. After a week, reflect on your notes and try to work out what helps you sleep and what makes it worse.

9. Jot down your troubles

Life is often stressful and it can take time and some effort to learn what coping methods work for you. Try using a journal to jot down things that are worrying you and keeping you awake. Make a note of them and deal with them when you are refreshed.

10. Seek professional help

If your sleep problems persist, don’t suffer in silence, and don’t be tempted to self-medicate with over-the-counter sleep aids. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) can be very effective at helping people who have problems with insomnia.

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