Regularly in our busy daily lives, we strive to do more and to be more..but how often do we prioritise the same attention to detail and level of care for our sleep?
Ahead of this World Sleep Day we’re flicking the switch and breaking down why taking care of our sleep is so important.
Why is a good night’s sleep so important?
💤 Getting a good night’s sleep helps to play a vital role in improving our physical and mental health. Here at The Sleep Movement, we like to think of sleep as recharging our batteries to give us the energy we need to succeed in our day. We know sleep has many benefits such as:
🏃♀️ Physical Health: It allows time for our body to restore energy levels, repair cells, tissues and muscles, as well as helping to strengthen our immune system.
💭 Mental Health: Do you know sometimes when you feel tired and your mind feels ‘foggy?’ Sleep allows the brain to process and consolidate information consumed throughout our day. It also helps to regulate our emotions, often giving us a ‘clear’ head to improve our mood and reduce anxiety.
🧠 Cognitive Function: Sleep plays a critical part in our memory consolidation, attention, and problem-solving skills. Adequate sleep can also help to improve our decision making as well as our creativity. A lack of sleep can impair our judgement, slow our reaction times and impact our coordination.
When we get a good night’s sleep, we feel:
✨ Refreshed and energised
How much sleep do we need?
Sleep experts recommend the following hours of sleep per night for each age category. However, we know how sleep or lack of sleep affects each one of us individually. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to what works best for you and therefore you can plan your sleep routine accordingly.
- Adults (18-64 years): 7-9 hours per night
- Older adults (65+ years): 7-8 hours per night
- Teenagers (14-17 years): 8-10 hours per night
- School-age children (6-13 years): 9-11 hours per night
- Preschool children (3-5 years): 10-13 hours per night
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours per night
- Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours per night
- Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours per night
How can I improve my sleep?
Our number one recommendation is to start following a bedtime routine. But before you stop reading….as the idea of a sleep routine can make us quite literally switch off - it doesn’t need to be scary. In fact, a simple sleep routine is best. Start with just one easy activity you can enjoy before bed to help your mind and body calm down. Some of our favourite simple and relaxing bedtime activities include:
☀️ Enjoying a warm cup of tea
☀️ Lighting a candle
☀️ A slow pilates workout
☀️ A warm bath
☀️ Cleansing our face
Establishing a consistent sleep routine can help regulate our body's internal clock, sending a clear signal to the brain when it’s time to go to sleep, which can ultimately help us fall asleep faster when our head hits the pillow.
We’d love to hear from you. Let us know how you wind down before bed in the comments.