How to Optimise Your Sleep

Drugs & Alcohol 18 Jun 2018

People spend roughly one 1/3 of their lives asleep. The sleep cycle is governed by the circadian rhythms, Cyclical Biological Clocks that have evolved from our exposure to light and dark cycles, largely controlled by the hypothalamus and hormones called melatonin which decreases during daytime hrs. It is widely accepted that sleep serves to restore psychological and physiological stressors (healing from daily activity).

Effects of sleep disturbances

Sleep proceeds through a series of stages known broadly as NREM and REM sleep. Longitudinal studies have indicated people with poor sleep are at a higher risk for accidents and serious injury at work.  Sleep also effects health, a large study on the effects of poor sleep have found higher rates of Cardiovascular disease, Immunity deficiencies, Cancer and Mental illness. Sleep therefore is a requirement to sustain both mind and body functions.

What causes sleep disturbances

There are many causes for sleep depredation and disturbances. Distressful unresolved issues at home or work, medicines (stimulants), false light at night time (TV, Laptops) are some of the most prevalent. With being stressed and time poor to be the most common excuses for this event.  

It is worthwhile noting that Australians top the charts with the number of hrs spent at work – averaging around 1855 hrs/annum, compared to the international average of 1643hrs/annum.

The Australasian sleep association surveyed 1600 Australians. Of that survey 70% feel that their ability to seep was affected by the level of work, and stress of everyday life.  According to the Better Sleep Council, poor sleep is detrimental to performance at work – almost ½ of people surveyed said they were in a bad mood at work because of their poor sleep.

Recommendations

The most recent study has shown that 7hrs per night to be the most optimal, any more or less can increase negative biopsychosocial factors (illness, disease, poor social behaviours). Below are some tools KINNECT training provide its clients to help relieve stress, mood, and relax you from the stressors of work, and thus help prepare you for sleep.

  1. Avoid false light (late night TV, Computer)
  2. Use support networks to relieve workloads (wife, Dr, friends, employment assistance schemes)
  3. Create a to-do list with priorities to reduce feeling overwhelmed
  4. Avoid talking any stimulants before bed like caffeine, guarana, energy drinks
  5. Use relaxing therapies like Progressive Muscle Relaxing Techniques, Breathing exercises
  6. Create a trigger list and work through the process of dealing with them
  7. Start light to moderate exercise no later than two hrs before bed
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