Sleep is vitally important for supporting your immune system, maintaining your weight, and boosting your brain activity. Over the last few months, you might have found it harder to fall asleep or that you’re more likely to wake up during the night.
During deep sleep, the brain is washed by rhythmic, pulsating waves of spinal fluid that clean away accumulated waste, helping to protect you from Alzheimer’s disease. Sleep also helps to protect you from cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression and obesity. Lighter sleep means missing out on factors that help cell regeneration and tissue growth, strengthen the immune system and support short and long-term memory.
How much is enough sleep?
It’s not just the amount of time you spend asleep that’s important. Quality matters. Each cycle of light, deep and dreaming sleep takes about 90 minutes and your sleep becomes progressively deeper through the night. Rather than focusing on a number of hours, the right amount of sleep for you is enough for you to feel refreshed when you wake up in the morning.
Tips for better sleep
- Get out in the daylight early in the day
- Keep a consistent bedtime and wake up time, even at the weekend or if you feel that you slept badly
- Aim to keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet
- Slow, relaxing music can help you drop off
- Blue light disrupts your sleep/wake cycle. Dim room lights and put technology away at least an hour before bedtime
- Cut caffeine out after lunch and try to avoid alcohol
- Avoid drinking too close to bedtime to prevent a nocturnal toilet trip
To find out more about how to improve your sleep, visit CABA and search ‘sleep’.