Here at Silentnight, we understand the importance of looking after our bodies, as well as resting and nurturing our brains.
We don't always consider that our brains need downtime as much as our bodies. "Imagine your mind as if it were a giant world library of ideas, reflections, inspiration and information," says neuroscientist Dr Magdalena Bak-Maier from Imperial College London. "During sleep, the brain creates order by processing and integrating memories and experiences so it can produce meaning and continuity. Insufficient sleep disrupts this healthy process, creating havoc."
Here are our top tips, from a collection of experts, for giving your brain a well earned break.
"Sometimes we just need to simplify our lives and give our heads a rest." Says Dr Hailstorm, a psychiatrist from the Royal college of Psychiatrists, "If you do not give your head downtime, it not only affects our brain functionality, but also makes us more vulnerable to mental health problems." You don't need a break to the Caribbean to really relax, small daily measures will help a lot. Try to turn your phone off whenever you can at the weekend and remove electrical devices from your bedroom as it will make it harder for you to fall asleep. Our sleep expert, Dr Nerina, agrees, ' Your bedroom is your personal sanctuary and so it should be a technology-free zone. You should also try and avoid checking your emails or social media accounts 90 minutes before going to bed."
Meditate to improve your mood
Scientists at the University of Oregon have shown that mindful meditation, placing emphasis on the awareness of your mind, body and environment, can change the structure of your brain. It is proven to boost your mood and increase protective tissue.
Good, restorative sleep is essential for our bodies to heal and also for our brains to process the day, retain memories and reduce stress levels. To access a restorative level of sleep, you should have a regular wind down routine. According to Dr Nerina, " winding down properly before getting into bed is crucial to helping you sleep better. You are more likely to access efficient deep sleep if you allow your body and mind to relax. A wind down routine could include reading a book, having a bath or listening to relaxing music."
Source: Daily Express