Have you ever been so tired you can’t actually sleep? Or felt so tired that even though you KNOW you need to go to bed, you’re mindlessly flicking through TV channels or Facebook… only to find that another hour has passed and you’re still not in bed yet? Or perhaps you’ve tried to go to sleep but you have a million things going around your head like a TV set and you just can’t switch off… Whatever the reason for your lack of sleep, it’s vitally important to understand how sleep deprivation affects health – both short term and long term. In this post, we’ll take you through common sleep issues and problems and how to create great sleep habits and ensure good sleep hygiene for a restful night’s sleep!
While these are just guidelines, remember that a restful night’s sleep means:
What Is Insomnia?If you can’t sleep, you may be wondering if you have insomnia. According to the National Sleep Foundation, insomnia is categorized as ‘difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when a person has the chance to do so.’ If you’re struggling with insomnia, the quality of your sleep can have a huge impact on your health and wellbeing. Symptoms include:
- Low energy
- Low productivity
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling irritable and grouchy
- Low mood
- Poor performance when studying or at work
- Heart attack
|Babies under 12 months||16-20 hours|
|1 to 2 years||14 hours|
|3 to 4 years||12 hours|
|5 to 12 years||10 hours|
|13 to 19 years||9 hours|
|Adults and seniors||7-8 hours|
- a) Good quality, deep and uninterrupted sleep – getting 8 hours of broken sleep (think new parents!) is NOT the same as 8 hours of deep, restful sleep.
- b) You should wake up feeling well-rested and energized – not tired, exhausted and too shattered to function!
- Magnesium – helps promote sleep by working as a natural muscle relaxant and can help you fall asleep faster!
- Potassium works with magnesium and is great if you have trouble staying asleep at night. Potassium also helps improve symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome and leg cramps.
- Tryptophan is a powerful essential amino acid which acts as a good sedative and can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep too!
- Vitamin B6 is needed to make melatonin – the sleep-inducing hormone. This helps to control your sleep and waking cycles.