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