Routine ''important for a good night''s sleep''
The key to achieving a restful and sound night's sleep lies in the cultivation of a regular routine, it has been claimed.
According to Jessica Alexander of The Sleep Council, keeping regular hours and going to bed
and getting up at the same time each day - even at weekends and during holidays - will train the body's sleep cycle to better coincide with the day-to-day routines that everyone has to stick to.
By doing this, the body will naturally shift its sleep-wake cycle to ensure it is getting the proper amount of rest, resulting in individuals feeling more alert and able to handle whatever life throws at them.
She commented: "Lack of sleep diminishes levels of concentration and makes you liable to swings in temper and depression. Sleep affects our learning and problem-solving capabilities. The more REM (rapid eye movement) sleep we have - the easier it is to retain things that were learned the day before. Problems that appear insoluble can become clear in the morning."
Ms Alexander added that there is a growing amount of research which now shows getting between seven and eight hours of sleep per night can have a significant benefit for a person's health. It can boost their mood, slow the ageing process and cure a wide range of aches and pains, as well as helping to relieve stress.
Social psychologist Dr Sandra Wheatley also noted earlier this month that stress can be a major factor in people being unable to achieve the proper amount of daily rest.
In order to combat this, she advised ensuring the bedroom is a haven away from life's worries where people can wind down effectively at the end of the day.
As a result, Ms Alexander advised: "Make a note of how much sleep you are getting. You will perhaps be surprised by just how much sleep you are getting. That in itself can be reassuring."
Posted by Michael Ewing