Do you know how much sleep you’re getting?
Sleep is something most of us will acknowledge as something we need to get more of. With modern life being so busy and so many of us burning the proverbial candle at both ends, it’s no surprise that for far too many people, feeling weary during the day is accepted as part of normal life.
Knowing how much sleep to aim for
Our sleeping needs change with age. Newborn babies need the most sleep at between 12 to 18 hours a day and sleep needs steadily decrease through childhood and teenage years.
From 18 years old, it’s recommended that everyone should have a minimum of seven hours sleep, although 6 hours ‘may’ be appropriate in some circumstances. Between 18 and 64 years, the recommended maximum amount of sleep to be aimed for is 9 hours, dropping to 8 hours from 65 years onwards.
Are you in sleep denial?
Chances are you’re getting by on fewer than the recommended hours of sleep. Chances are that you’re reading “6 hours may be appropriate” as applying to you rather than the higher guideline figure. Chances are that you’ve got so used to staying up late and getting up early that you’re accustomed to it and you don’t think you need more. Chances are that you’re wrong.
Ask yourself if you’re making a little too much use of the ‘snooze’ button in the morning. Ask yourself if you start the day with a coffee because you’re not fully awake without one. Ask yourself if you feel you’re lacking in energy when you need it throughout the day. Ask yourself whether you start to feel drowsier as the afternoon progresses and find yourself fighting with your own eyelids in the evening.
If any of those questions prompt an answer you’re uncomfortable with, then perhaps you really do need to make an effort to get the recommended number of sleeping hours, not the number you’ve trained yourself to get by with.
Get into good habits
The first thing to do is establish a regular bedtime. You know when you need to get up, so you can work out when you need to be in bed. When you go to bed, eliminate all distractions. Avoid the temptation to check your phone or to watch TV. If possible don’t keep a TV in your bedroom and charge your phone in another room.
Making sure you’re in bed, ready to sleep on time without fail is a great first step, but you’ll need to be patient with your body while it learns your new routine. You may find yourself lying awake because you’re usually still up and about at this time. You may find yourself waking up before your alarm because you went to bed earlier but your body is used to waking up after a certain number of hours.
It might be frustrating, but this will pass as your sleep patterns adjust to your new routine. Stick with it and you’ll soon be enjoying what feels like a ‘new you’, with more energy, better concentration and more positive outlook.
Give yourself the best chance of recharging
Being ready to sleep and being able to sleep aren’t always one and the same. Getting to bed on time is only half the battle, being able to relax in comfort is the other.
Quality of sleep is just as important as the number of hours you spend in bed. A mattress that’s unsuitable, unsupportive or simply uncomfortable is likely to rob you of the deep restful sleep you need to feel fully renewed in the morning. If you’re willing to follow the advice on the number of hours you need to spend sleeping, it’d be a pity to sabotage your good habits by spending those hours restless and furtive.
At Longbeds, we specialise in purpose made beds, mattresses and bed-linen for the taller individual and custom-made beds of all sizes. Speak to us about your sleep needs and we can guide you towards a package which will give you the best chance of getting the quality night’s sleep you need.