It is 4:48am. My mind and body are wide awake. I (KS) have slept at most 4.5 hours. Whilst this is not a common occurrence, I know the day ahead will be full of activities, meetings and demands that require a good night’s sleep. I often wonder how much sleep do we really need? The Talbot team pack a lot into a day and often our fast-paced, busy lifestyles result in us functioning on very little sleep. Whilst our days are full and we work hard to balance both work and play, we often find that exhaustion and tiredness are something we have gotten used to.
Trying to understand sleep, the quality of sleep and the power it has on our waking life…
How much sleep do we really need?
The Power of Sleep
Along with food, water and oxygen, humans need sleep in order to survive. Spending approximately 1/3 of our lives asleep, the quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life. ‘Sleep health’ plays a part in mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and the body’s weight.
Sleep requires minimal effort and maximum gain…
Outside of the recommended sleep required for specific ages, there are key areas to consider when determining how much sleep we need.
Key questions to consider when determining how much sleep you need
1) Are you productive, healthy and happy on seven hours of sleep? Or does it take you nine hours of quality ZZZ’s to get you into high-gear?
2) Do you have health issues such as being overweight?
3) Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?
4) Do you feel sleepy when driving?
5) Do you have difficulty concentrating?
If you (like me) answered yes to two or more of the above, here are some helpful tips to assist in improving the quality of your sleep.
The key to really understanding how much sleep you need begins with assessing your own individual habits and needs. Pay close attention to your mood, energy levels throughout the day, and begin to document and acknowledge the differences in these things when you have a good night’s sleep, compared to a poor night’s sleep.
Paving the way to a good night’s sleep…
How can I manage my sleep?
Here are some helpful tips to help manage your sleeping patterns / lack of sleep:
1) Use relaxation techniques to relax your body – we have found the 4-7-8 breathing technique really helpful
2) Reduce your negative thoughts and worries – writing in a journal can help put your negative thoughts and worries to paper, separating yourself from these thoughts
3) Exercise regularly – find what it is that you enjoy and get moving
4) Reduce your caffeine intake, especially in the evening
5) Avoid heavy meals just before bedtime
6) Have a set time that you go to bed each night
7) Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends
8) Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light – A helpful tip is to switch off or dim overhead lights and turn on a side lamp whilst getting ready for bed
9) Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows
10) Turn off electronics before bed – this being one of my worst habits!
Share your thoughts with us on any and all of the above. In the meantime, sleep well and dream sweet Talbot Babes.
The Talbot Girls xx
(Images sourced from FTC – Sleeping Beauty)