Happy New Year from everyone here!
We hope you all had a great Christmas. Along with the New Year come
the New Year's resolutions, have you made yours
yet? 


As we welcome in 2015 and set
ourselves some grand goals, why not simply aim to get a little bit
more kip? You'll probably find other aspects of your life improve
as a result.


Sleeping woman


Image: Wikimedia


Sleep is essential for every human
being, yet three quarters (79%)* of us don't get enough, leading to
a detrimental effect on our work, health and relationships which is
compounded by the stresses and strains of our daily
lives.


Here, our resident sleep expert, Dr
Nerina Ramlakhan, offers top tips on how to how to get more sleep,
to ensure 2015 is your most successful year yet:


  • Don't skip breakfast -
    skipping breakfast or eating breakfast too late (an hour after your
    get up) suppresses the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone)
    and causes the body to produce stress hormones such as adrenaline
    and cortisol. People who don't eat breakfast never feel like eating
    so it's a vicious cycle. Include protein in your breakfast to help
    to optimise melatonin production.
  • Drink enough water -
    not drinking enough water throughout the day causes dehydration and
    creates restless muscles and 'scratchy' sleep. Aim to drink two to
    three litres per day.
  • Get some rest -
    working or pushing yourself relentlessly throughout the day
    overstimulates your nervous system leading to that 'tired but
    wired' feeling when you get into bed. Take three to five minute
    breaks every 90mins throughout the day - move, close your eyes, eat
    something nourishing but most importantly, try to get away from
    technology. Your sleep at night will be deeper and more
    restful.
  • Reduce technology before bed - electronic devices overload the 'working memory' of
    the brain and leads to noisy thought-filled sleep. Aim for an
    electronic sundown of 60-90mins before getting into
    bed.
     
  • Don't take emotional baggage to bed
    - write your worries or 'to do' lists down before
    going to bed and think of all of the small positive things that
    happened in your day as you drift off to sleep, let go, let go, let
    go... 
     

Practice all or at least two or
three of these tips every day for the next 21 days to notice
lasting benefits.


Dr Nerina concludes, "The New Year
is the perfect time to look at your sleeping patterns and try to
develop new habits. A lack of sleep can affect many different
aspects of our lives, but a few simple steps can change this. Try
some of these tips to improve the quality of your sleep, both in
the New Year and throughout 2015."


For further sleep tips or sleep related advice please
visit Dr Nerina's toolkit


*According to a survey of 2,044
people by Opinion Matters for Silentnight, July 2013.