Connect Yorkshire member James Wilson of The Sleep Lab http://www.thesleeplab.co.uk/ gave our second online event on 25th June “Taking the Stress out of Sleep”. There was a lively Q&A session at the end. James’ family made beds and
mattresses for several generations so sleep has always been at the centre of his life
I will endeavour to summarise the main points James made
Everyone wakes up a few times during a night.Try to make sure you are physically and mentally secure. Work with the way your body works.
Prepare for Sleep
To encourage sleep you need your heart rate to drop and also for your temperature to drop. You cannot force yourself to sleep; as soon as you start worrying about something adrenaline starts pumping round your body, stopping sleep. And don’t do work in the middle of the night.
The golden hour before bed is when you must create a healthy pre-sleep routine. Reduce blue light, don’t use your phone for 1 hour before bed, don’t look at SM, watch something that you know what is going to happen, have a shower, go to sleep at the same time every evening.
We all have different sleep needs-quantity and quality of sleep-don’t bother with sleep trackers. Sleep pressure builds up during the day-naps help sleep deprivation but for many they make poor sleep worse. If you must, nap before 2 pm and it is less likely to disturb your sleep
5 hours sleep is generally not enough-its ok for a short period. During sleep the body is repaired. Extra sleep during the day is not helpful. If you sleep more at weekends the body senses irregularity.
Caffeine, alcohol, exercise
Make sure your last caffeine is 6 hours before bedtime; some metabolise caffeine at double the rate of others. Just because you fall asleep easily doesn’t show caffeine isn’t a problem.
Alcohol is a sedative for 4 hours but a stimulant after 6 hours; a heavy meal 3 hours before bed makes it harder to go to sleep
Exercise helps sleep but not in the evening as it gets the heart pumping faster
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