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Sleep is crucial for your health

There are some things you can do to improve your sleep significantly

Sleep plays a significant role in almost every system in the body.

You spend about a third of your life sleeping. It's clearly got a purpose, otherwise, it'd just be wasted time!

Sleep is actually your superpower. During sleep, your body repairs itself. Sleep improves energy, concentration, learning and memory. It reduces your risk of anxiety, depression, heart disease and dementia. Losing sleep, or not getting enough, has a big impact on your sense of wellbeing.

Getting too little sleep also increases your appetite and reduces your sense of feeling full. Losing sleep also causes you to crave carbohydrates and sugary foods. You'll tend to become more impulsive, and less able to stick to decisions about healthier food choices.

When you’re short on sleep, you’re also more likely to feel tired and less inclined to exercise. This is a problem because regular exercise helps with weight management and keeping blood sugar down. 

If you're needing help to sleep better, visit our Sleep Better page for hints, tips and tools to help you.

  • Create a bedtime routine so your body learns your daily rhythm. This means a regular bedtime, doing something relaxing before bedtime and no screens.
  • Sleep in the dark. Darkness tells your body it’s time to sleep. Light from phone, TV or computer screens switches off your sleep hormone melatonin production. Avoid screens for 90 minutes before bed, remove the TV from your bedroom and make sure your blinds or curtains block the light.
  • Spend 20 mins outside each morning. Morning sunlight sets your body clock and helps enable sleep later in the day.
  • Keep it cool. Ideal bedroom temperature at night is 17o Warmer than this will reduce sleep quality.
  • Relax before bed. Avoid emotional tension before bed and aim to avoid social media contact for 2 hours before bed. Use breathing exercises if you need them.
  • Enjoy caffeine before noon. Its stimulating effects last for about 9 hours.
  • Timing any naps. Taking a 20-30 minute nap early in the day can be helpful, but avoid them later on in the day as they’ll upset your sleep pattern.