It’s safe to say there’s been a night or two where we know we should have gotten more sleep. Once upon a time, we used to religiously get our eight hours – but now it seems more of a struggle.

According to a survey conducted by Kalms Herbal Remedies, over half of the UK has trouble getting to sleep – which can impact our skin, weight, mood and general health and wellbeing.

With 18.5 million adults surviving off just six hours sleep a night, the survey also found that factors include difficulty in snoozing in the first place, as well as frequently waking up during the night.

According to Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, a sleep expert, physiologist and best-selling author, ‘given the current landscape of economic uncertainties, geopolitical tensions and the persistent challenges of modern life, it’s unsurprising that many individuals are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve good quality sleep.’ 

Insufficient or disrupted sleep can take its toll on people, with the study finding that 55% of people surveyed feel groggy, while just over half feel tired and irritable; unable to concentrate properly and be productive the next day.

She goes on to say that ‘sleep plays a vital role in our overall wellbeing’. Causing multiple negative consequences, while most people attribute poor sleep to too much caffeine, using electronic devices before bed and an irregular sleep schedule, Dr Ramlakhan also says a bad night’s sleep can be due to stress and anxiety.

‌‌However, it goes a little deeper than your focus the next day. Sleep deprivation can cause longer term issues such as being more prone to common ailments such as a cold to more severe conditions, including depression, dementia and even posing the risk for a stroke or heart attack.

Dr Ramlakhan states: ‘In today’s fast-paced world, balancing our busy lives with consistent, restorative sleep can be a real challenge. However, research suggests that getting the right amount of shut eye each night can reduce mortality rates, improve organisational productivity and help bolster the UK economy.

‘Establishing a personalised sleep-care routine that aligns with your lifestyle and promotes relaxation, gives you the best chance of achieving a revitalising night’s rest.

‘This differs from person to person, but the concept remains the same; develop reliable practices that help you to unwind from the stressors of daily life and prioritise sleep.’‌

5 tips for a better night's sleep, according to an expert

According to Dr Ramlakhan, by prioritising the following pillars and incorporating them into your daily routine, you can significantly improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.

Establish a consistent sleep schedule: Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Consistency helps regulate your body’s internal clock and improves the quality of your sleep.

Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Develop calming bedtime rituals, such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation. These activities signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for rest, even helping to reduce levels of cortisol – the stress hormone.

Try a herbal remedy: For centuries, valerian root has been commonly used for its sleep-inducing properties. It works by promoting relaxation and reducing feelings of stress and anxiety, both of which are common triggers for sleepless nights. Herbal remedies offer a safe over-the-counter solution to support a restful night’s sleep with less chance of waking in the night and feeling groggy in the morning.

Optimise your sleep environment: Make your bedroom conducive to sleep by keeping it cool, dark, and quiet. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows, and consider using blackout curtains, white noise machines, or earplugs to block out disturbances.

Limit stimulants and screen time before bed: Minimise consumption of caffeine and avoid heavy meals, nicotine, and alcohol close to bedtime, as they can disrupt sleep patterns. Additionally, reduce exposure to electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, as the blue light emitted can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.

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2024-06-30T15:14:37Z dg43tfdfdgfd