Sleep or lack of it is one of the most common 21st century health complaints. Our 24-hour lifestyle has many benefits, but it also means many of us are working unusual hours and have less time available for sleep.

In addition, few of us appreciate just how important sleep is to ensure a healthy life.



There are many different views as to how much sleep we need – six to eight hours is often quoted, but some of us need less; and some more. The simplest answer is that you need enough sleep to feel refreshed in the morning and stay awake and alert throughout the day. Here are some tips:

  • go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – only go to bed when you feel tired
  • relax at least 1 hour before bed – for example, take a bath or read a book
  • make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet – use thick curtains, blinds, an eye mask or ear plugs
  • exercise regularly during the day
  • make sure your mattress, pillows and covers are comfortable
  • avoid smoking, alcohol, tea or coffee at least 6 hours before going to bed
  • avoid a big meal late at night
  • do not exercise at least 4 hours before bed


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