The secret to a great night's sleep

How much sleep do you actually need?

It has been revealed this week that nearly 40% of people in Japan sleep for less than six hours a night, with those surveyed citing working too hard and for too many hours as the reasons for their lack of shut eye.

And this work life imbalance is nothing new.. key figures from history -as well as current politicians- have famously forgone sleep in order to get the job done..

- Napoleon reportedly referred to people's sleep needs saying 'Six hours for a man, seven for a woman and eight for a fool'. 

- Margaret thatcher famously survived on just four hours sleep a night while Winston Churchill ran the country on five hours kip.

- And finally, reports this week of Donald Trump's sleep deprivation have suggested the President Elect has made his way to the Whitehouse by getting by on a restless four hours a night.

So what is the answer?

Our sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan says: "While eight hours is a good average to work towards, I have encountered many people who have become anxious about their supposed sleep deprivation because they feel they might not be achieving the 'normal' amount of sleep.

"There is no normal amount of sleep; the ideal amount differs for everyone and depends on many factors, including age and genetic makeup".

Try to switch off from the day 

Dr Nerina continues: "Information overload and working long hours leaves many of us unable to sleep. It's important to prepare your body for getting some rest so that you get in to bed feeling calm and relaxed. Try to switch off 60-90 minutes before you go to bed. This means no phones or tablets.

Remember rest is as important as sleep

"Don't worry if you do wake up during the night. If you start worrying you'll find it even harder to get back to sleep. Instead, lie on your back and try to consciously relax each part of your body starting from your toes and working up to your head and face. Breathe deeply from your diaphragm and tell yourself that it doesn't matter if you don't fall asleep and that you will just use the time to rest and relax.

Don't get obsessed 

"And finally don't get obsessed with the amount of hours you're getting. If you wake up feeling refreshed after just five hours sleep then you're probably getting enough sleep for you."

 For more sleep advice from Dr Nerina visit our sleep toolkit

At Silentnight, we know the secret to a great night’s sleep

You have the total reassurance of knowing you are choosing a quality product from the UK’s biggest bed manufacturer with 70 years of bed making heritage