Why do we need sleep?
Sleep is really important for mental and physical wellbeing, yet is often one of the first things to be sacrificed when busy or impacted by life’s stressors (e.g. studying, work, family). On average, adults require between 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night.
When we are sleep deprived (that is, not getting enough sleep), this can impact our psychological function, including:
- Poorer memory, concentration and attention
- Reduced decision making skills
- Reduced work efficiency
- Reduced alertness
- Poorer emotion regulation
How can I improve my sleep?
Improving sleep starts by assessing your current sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is a term used to describe our sleep habits and their impact on the quality of our sleep. If you are having difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or allowing yourself enough hours to sleep, reviewing your current sleep hygiene practices can be really useful.
Here are some tips to improve your sleep hygiene.
What’s all the fuss about blue light?
Many of us use phones, laptops and watch TV to relax in the evenings before bed; however use of these devices impacts on our ability to fall asleep. This is due to the type of light that emits from these devices, as it tricks our body’s internal clock into thinking it is daytime as opposed to night, making it more difficult to fall asleep! As such, if you are having difficulty falling asleep, try not to use your devices for 30 mins – 1 hour before bed.
Read more about this.
If you would like to learn more about improving your sleep, come and chat to one of the counsellors at UC Medical and Counselling Centre today!
Some of these apps may assist you in improving sleep:
- White Noise (free; calming sounds for sleep),
- Sleep Cycle (free, in app purchases; hour tracker),
- Smiling Mind (free; mindfulness based meditation)
(Information provided drawn from: Centre for Clinical Interventions, Better Health Channel, Black Dog Institute, psychologytools.com, sleepfoundation.org)