Sleep Well – A guide to how you can get a better night’s sleep
Buzz Manchester Health & Wellbeing Service
What is a sleep problem?
It is common to sometimes not get enough sleep or have a bad night’s sleep but if it goes over two weeks, it can become a sleep problem
Signs that you could have a problem:
Why do you need a good night’s sleep?
It gives you the rest you need. It is also vital for your health and wellbeing.
How much sleep do you need?
However the amount of sleep people need varies from person to person. Some people are quite happy with 4 to 5 hours each night while others need 9-10 hours a night.
How does your body know when to sleep?
Your sleep-wake pattern is controlled by the circadian rhythm also known as ‘body clock’ and it manages your body’s sleep patterns and usually follows a roughly 24-hour cycle.
Your brain releases and reduces the hormone melatonin to make you sleepy and to start waking you up when it gets lighter.
What can cause sleep problems?
– an uncomfortable bed or the temperature of the room can make it harder to fall asleep / There can also be other disruptions such as noisy neighbours or living on a busy road
– what you do before bed can make it harder to switch your brain off and makes you more alert which can make it difficult to drift off to sleep such as watching TV or using a phone.
Stressful life events
– it is very common to suffer from a poor night’s sleep if you are going through a hard time or have been through a loss in your life but over time your sleep pattern should return to normal.
Mental and emotional health
– your feeling and emotions can affect your sleep too. Feelings of worry, anger, or guilt can keep your mind racing late at night.
Physical health problems
– if you are ill or injured you need more sleep than normal to help you recover
– Pain or discomfort can cause disruption to your sleep pattern to your sleep pattern
– poor diet and little activity can lead to poor sleep and it isn’t just about what you eat but when you eat
– Some medicines can disrupt your sleep. They can stop you from falling asleep and staying asleep or make you feel sleepy.
– Sleeping tablets are not always the solution and can make things worse
Alcohol and drugs
– Drinking alcohol can make you feel sleepy, even a few drinks can affect how well you sleep, disrupting your sleep cycle
– Using drugs such as speed, cocaine and ecstasy can disturb sleepy, they can give you nightmares and keep you awake
– It is harder to sleep well if your day has little structure.
– If you have to be awake during the night, it can disrupt your body clock.
Recognising sleep problems
Poor sleep can affect your thoughts, emotions, behaviour and body. It can also impact the quality of like and those around you.
You feel – annoyed more easily, aggressive, low in mood
Your mind is – racing/difficult to switch off, unable to control or stop worrying
Your thoughts might be – can’t think straight, can’t concentrate and focus, become forgetful
You might behave by – napping during the day, finding it hard to stay awake during day, finding it hard to do daily tasks like housework, snapping at people or your pet
Your body symptoms are – feeling sick, headaches, little energy, tired, tearful, heart racing
What might happen to your wellbeing in the long-term?
Poor sleeping habits
Six steps to problem solving
Many things can improve sleep such as:
Life can be very hectic. We often do not allow our bodies to unwind. This can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
These could include:
For a full guide visit: https://d1jw0l0b625fbx.cloudfront.net/docs/Sleep-Well-December-2016.pdf
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