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May 10, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Sleep… with the Counselling Service

Getting enough sleep is vital for our physical and emotional wellbeing. However, for various reasons, our sleeping patterns may change and this can impact on our ability to function as we normally do. Stress, anxiety, physical health, late nights and numerous other changes can disrupt our sleep pattern. And losing sleep can affect our mood, cognitive performance, motor skills, memory and alertness. It can lead to an increase in accidents and to a poorer quality of life.

Some ideas to help you manage your sleeping difficulties include:

  • Minimise your caffeine intake, particularly later in the day. Caffeine-free teas are often helpful in calming you before sleep.
  • Try to keep your study away from your bedroom.
  • Get the most comfortable bed and bedding you can.
  • Make your room as dark as you can.
  • Wear ear plugs if you’re a light sleeper or have a noisy flat or flatmates.
  • Develop a good night time routine—winding down, reading something light. TV and computers before bed can keep you alert and prevent sleep.
  • Try to exercise during the day to burn up energy and reduce stress levels.
  • Make a list of things to do the next day before bed so you’re not worrying about them all night.
  • Make sure you feel safe and secure in your home at night—fix broken locks or latches, keep a phone by the bed if you’re nervous.
  • Avoid alcohol as this can cause you to wake more in the night. Also, alcohol blocks the deep sleep we have earlier in the night which leaves us feeling like we haven’t rested.
  • Avoid naps during the day.
  • If you have an injury or are in pain, your sleep can be disrupted. It might be worth talking to your GP about how you can manage this.
  • Don’t go to bed hungry—it will make you focus on your hunger and your rumbling tummy rather than sleep.
  • If you take medication, make sure it doesn’t make you more alert at night or so sleepy that you can’t function the next day. Discuss any side effects with your doctor.

If you continue to have poor or disrupted sleep that impacts on your functioning, it might be a good idea to discuss this with your GP or counsellor.


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  1. I really agree that we need a healthy sleep to keep a good healthy lifestyle. Though it may hard sometimes to perfect it due to many things that we do. At least we could a lot a good time for sleep. Life Coaching

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