There is nothing worse than lying in bed, wide-eyed and awake while the rest of the world sleeps. It might be thoughts about work tomorrow, your child’s school project unfinished on the table, or the high-pitched whine of a mosquito. And all the while, a question runs through your head: how can I get enough sleep these days?
We live in an age where people are taking more and more responsibility for their health. We not only look for food that can help us keep our weight down, but food that is better for our bodies. Exercise has become more fun and engaging. Parkruns, exercising apps and various social fitness clubs make staying healthy as far removed from a dreaded necessity (like taxes) as possible.
But one area, just as vital, yet overlooked to the detriment of our overall health, is the right amount of sleep. And let’s be fair, eating healthy, getting enough exercise, combined with the rest of work and family life, often makes sleep a secondary concern. But all these good efforts might be in vain if you aren’t getting a good night’s rest.
How much sleep, exactly?
The recommended sleeping time varies by age. Your newborn child requires 14-18 hours, your primary school child needs 9-11 hours and your teenager will need to squeeze in 8-10 hours a night to stay in peak condition. As for you, research shows that 7-8 hours is best. Less than that, and the signs start to show: reduced alertness, less memory retention, more mood swings, weight gain, a lowered immune system and a greater risk of diseases like diabetes. What’s more, research indicates that oversleeping past the odd lie-in day may cause many of the same effects.
Making sure you get it
So sleep is precious, and important. How then can you ensure you get enough every night? Destroying alarm clocks doesn’t count. What’s important is to build good habits. Try and fit a sleep routine into your daily schedule. Go to bed and wake up at about the same time each morning. Also plan other parts of your day around this, so they don’t intrude. Set out your child’s clothing the night before so you aren’t running around in the morning. Also try and make suppertime a certain time. All this helps build a solid sleep-wake cycle and, with more routine to your sleep, you’ll feel less tired.
It’s also a good idea to tire yourself out before bed. Go for a daily run with your friends or download a yoga app (try Pocket Yoga) and exercise in your own time. It helps you relieve stress and some of that pent-up energy. Just be careful not to exercise too close to bedtime; you’ll be too energised to sleep.
As for the time just before bedtime, avoid stimulants like caffeine, nicotine and even chocolate. Also make sure family movie evenings end well before bed, because blue screen lighting also affects the part of your brain that will have you tossing and turning all night. If you’re reading on your tablet in bed, try a blue screen filter (like this free app).
Avoiding the irritation factor
But even if you do all of this, there may still be another element that decides to keep you and your family up. That lone high-pitched whine in the darkness. Yes, mosquitoes are enough to drive anybody mad and deprive them of sleep. And then there are the itchy bites… Exercising before bed tends to keep your brain too excited for sleep, so hunting them down with a slipper might not only be futile, but can also deprive you of even more hours of rest. The best solution is to keep them away entirely from you and your family. Peaceful Sleep is your solution. It offers a protective 8-hour barrier from mosquitoes and other noisy insects, which is also conveniently the right amount of sleep you need each night.
So whether you’re reading this, red-eyed at 2am, or planning your peaceful night during the day, following these tips will help ensure that you stay rested, healthy and mosquito-free.