Physiotherapist Annie Williams discusses why sleep is so important for wellbeing
Sleep is something not many of us think too much about – unless we are not getting enough….then we definitely know about it!
But in the different, challenging and worrying times we have found ourselves in, this could be an aspect that we all could consciously improve on.
Sleep is so important for our overall health and well-being – as much as regular exercise and eating a balanced diet.
It’s benefits include :-
- Boosting our immune systems
- Production of growth hormones to repair and build stronger muscles, bones and other structures, and restore fluid balances
- Better concentration and productivity (definitely needed for those working at home!)
- Lowers weight gain risk
- Greater athletic performance – a possible PB on your daily walk, or Joe Wicks workout!
- Decreased risk of heart disease
- Preventing depression
- Decreased inflammation in the body
It is especially important for children with respect to their attention, behaviour, learning, memory (NB Home Schooling Parents!!!!!) and overall mental and physical development and health
We may not be needing to get up as early as normal if working from home, or the kids not being in school, so make the most of getting a bit of extra ‘shut eye’ in but try not to stay up much later than you normally would, or get tempted with having excessive lie-ins every day!
Top Sleep Tips
- Hours of sleep needed per night – school age (6-12 yrs) =9-12hrs
Teens (13-18) = 8-10 hrs
Adults = 7-9 hrs
- Try to be active during the day
- Avoiding big heavy meals too close to bed time
- Developing good bed time routines- no screen time at least 1 hour before bed, and try to keep bedrooms as screen free zones
- No caffeinated drinks < 4hrs before bedtime
- Warm but not boiling hot bath
- Try some techniques to quieten the mind ie yoga, mindfulness, breathing techniques or gentle stretches, reading (not the news or social media!)
AND THEN WE CAN ALL WAKE UP LIKE THIS EVERY MORNING!!