Sleep deprivation has almost become part of our lives now; with almost six in 10 Australians not getting enough hours of sleep on a nightly basis.
Adults are required to get a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep a night, but in reality are only getting on average five to six hours, as per National Sleep Foundation in the UK.
And the real cause for this is nothing but what you’re reading this article on… your phones, laptops and iPads.
The blue light from these devices curb the production of sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin, says psychologist Richard Wiseman. This lack of sleep is associated with risk of weight gain, heart attacks, diabetes and cancer.
In a study conducted by the UK-based foundation, it was found that participants who used a tablet, computer or smartphone two hours before bedtime had the most disturbed sleep, as opposed to those who shut down a couple of hours prior. The survey also investigated dreams of the same people and found that for many they were unpleasant dreams.
Tips to get better sleep
Detox from technology: Avoid using computers, smartphones or tablets in the two hours before going to bed. The blue light stimulates the brain and keeps you awake.
Make a list: Note down everything you have to do the next day or that are playing on your mind. This helps prevent you pouring over these issues in bed.
Tire your brain: If you are struggling to sleep, make your brain tired by thinking of an animal for each letter of the alphabet (A is for Ant, B is for Bear, etc) or count sheep, if that fancies you.
Employ reverse psychology: Actively trying to stay awake actually makes you feel tired, so try keeping your eyes open and focus on not falling asleep.
Wear warm socks: If you have bad circulation, your feet will get cold and cause sleeplessness. To avoid the problem, wear a pair of breathable, cotton socks.
Chew on a banana: If all else fails, eat a banana before you head to bed. They are rich in carbohydrates, which help relax your body and brain.
What are your tips on how to get the best night’s sleep? Share them below.