It’s World Sleep Day today! Today is your opportunity to take some time to think about your sleep health and whether you’re meeting your sleep needs. Sleep is so important but it’s easy to normalise the constant fatigue in everyday life. Challenge that today.
What is World Sleep Day? Well, World Sleep Day is an annual day to spread awareness about the importance of sleep within health and wellbeing. It’s a global call to action on important issues related to sleep. Organised by World Sleep Society, this year the focus is on Quality Sleep, Sound Mind, Happy World. This raises questions like: how can quality sleep support your mental health? Does better sleep help you focus during the day? What is the effect of fatigue?
That can feel like a lot to think about but it’s important to broach these questions now, especially in the context of COVID-19. The pandemic has affected sleep health adversely; statistics say that adults are sleep deprived and sleep disorders are on the rise. Sleep is one of the most important factors in personal health and wellbeing, in fact, insufficient sleep is a leading cause of major health problems. But it’s not all doom and gloom - by giving your sleep health proper importance in your life, you can notice a real change in physical, mental and emotional health.
What can you do to improve your sleep health?
Stick to a sleep schedule
It can be a natural instinct to sleep well past your usual wake-up time on the days when you don’t actually have to be up that early. However, it’s best to stick to a sleep schedule - try not to shift your sleeping times so drastically. You might find that you’re actually much less tired as a result. That consistency helps our body clock and functions be more aligned.
Don’t consume caffeine late in the day
Caffeine does impact sleep - one of the issues is that caffeine has a half-life of 6 to 7 hours. This means that six to seven hours after you consume caffeine half of it is still in your system. If you have a cup of caffeine at midday - it’s equivalent to drinking a quarter cup of coffee at midnight, or the equivalent of an English breakfast tea (black tea), before you go to bed. As a result, you wake up feeling less refreshed. It’s best to not drink coffee after midday. Even if you’re someone who can drink coffee right before bed, it still impacts your sleep quality even if you’re not aware of it.
Take a nap during the day
Although it may seem somewhat obvious, taking a nap during the day when you’re tired has so many benefits. There can be a stigma around napping, especially when it comes to during the working day but actually, a recent study by the Sleep Foundation found that adults feel sleepy throughout the day 3 times a week, which adversely impacts activities, mood and concentration. A short nap can offset the side effects of being tired during the day. Some tips for a good daytime nap include: set a timer so that you don’t oversleep and don’t nap too close to your nighttime sleep.
Create a pre-sleep routine to unwind
The pre-sleep habits that you incorporate into your night routine can lead to a higher quality of sleep. Having a sleep-informed night routine can be very beneficial. For example, melatonin is a sleep hormone that increases during darkness and as your core temperature drops so it’s a good idea to limit exposure to artificial light in the evening and create a cool (but not cold) environment. Take time to de-stress before sleep to have lower levels of cortisol (the “stress hormone”) to improve sleep quality as well.
These are just a few tips to improve your sleep. If you’re thinking of ways to celebrate World Sleep Day: implement these tips to your sleep routine, start thinking about your sleep needs and most importantly have a nap - actually go to sleep!
If you’re interested in improving sleep health, fatigue management and wellbeing in your workplace - get in touch with Rest Space today. We offer a fully enclosed, private, clean and stackable place to recharge, rest or nap.