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Wake up to best way of getting good night's sleep; GO FOR IT.

SLEEP - everyone needs it, but how you do it, when you do it and for how long varies incredibly from person to person.

Too much sleep can leave you feeling groggy. Too little sleep may leave you grumpy, unable to concentrate and with the desperate urge to close your eyes, just for five minutes.

The average person requires about eight hours a night. Some can exist on five or six, but others need at least 10 hours to work effectively.

The recipe for the perfect sleep is straightforward:

Try to have a bedtime routine.

Going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning, even at weekends, lets your body know what to expect and makes it easier to drift off as soon as your head hits the pillow.

Avoid late night eating and drinking. Caffeine or sugary drinks can act as stimulants making it more difficult to switch off.

Follow the old adage don't go to bed on an argument and try to have a laugh before your head hits the pillow. Humour is one of the best relaxation tools.

Exercise in the early evening but not right before bed. Yoga or pilates can be especially calming as well as a great way to stay supple.

Sadly, even using all these measures, sleep remains elusive for some people. In fact, insomnia affects one in three of us during our lifetime.

Some can become so debilitated that they find it difficult to maintain relationships or hold down a job.

The underlying causes for insomnia vary tremendously but they tend to be linked to high levels of chronic stress or depression.

Thankfully there are a number of treatments for insomnia, from traditional medicine to complementary therapies such as reflexology, yoga or tai chi which can help promote a sense of well being and relieve anxiety.

If all else fails and you haven't had enough shut-eye, there are ways to help you keep going through the day. There is evidence that a single 15-20 minute catnap can revive the senses. And eating the right food can also help.

Set yourself up with a good breakfast and have a protein-packed lunch to avoid that afternoon fatigue.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 18, 2001
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