The American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that 10 percent of the world’s population has a diagnosable sleep disorder. “Chronic sleep deprivation or poor quality sleep on an ongoing basis has been linked to accelerated ageing, resulting in an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes, as well as anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse and even obesity,” says GP Dr Tracey Garner.
Basically, chronic sleep deprivation reduces your ability to cope and diminishes your quality of life. If you are suffering to get a good night’s rest, try these tips:
- If you work in an environment that gets no natural light, ask to move your desk closer to a window, or take regular breaks outside. A recent study showed a strong relationship between workplace daylight exposure and office workers’ sleep, activity and overall quality of life.
- Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol after 2pm.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, and give yourself an hour longer than you think you need, just to fall asleep (we need at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep each night).
- Exercise, but not too close to bedtime – you don’t want to be so alert that you can’t fall asleep!
- Review your medications as some can cause insomnia.
- Wind down before bedtime with a bath, stretching or meditation, and avoid “screen time” (use of iPads, TV or computers) 30 minutes before bed.
- If you can’t sleep because you feel anxious, it may help to write down your woes – and brainstorm some solutions – before bed.
Tip: Still struggling to sleep after trying the above tips? Ask your Clicks pharmacist for advice about a natural preparation that may help to induce sleep.