Tip 1: How to improve well-being through better sleep.
- Get eight hours sleep in every 24, even if you have to cat-nap to top up on a short night’s sleep
- Don’t have a TV in your bedroom
- Don’t let your work intrude into your bedroom
- Read a good book
- Have a hot drink or hot bath before bed
- Watch for your body cooling, that’s a sign that you are beginning to drop off
- A cool bedroom can help you to drop off faster
- Don’t try to force yourself to sleep, if it doesn’t come after 20 minutes or so, get up and do some boring chores,until you feel drowsy
- Don’t ‘reward’ insomnia with food
- Once you’ve established a good sleeping pattern, stick to it
- Don’t cut back on sleep by hoping to catch up at the weekends
- Be careful about consumption of caffeinated drinks, alcohol, chocolate or eating a big meal within two hours of bedtime
If you still suffer from insomnia you should consider whether stress, night-working, pain or depression are to blame. If not, see your medical practitioner and check whether you’re suffering from ‘sleep apnoea’ – which can seriously jeopardise your well-being.
Tip 2: Sleep codes for children
A ‘Sleep Code’ for children, similar to the Highway Code, instilling good habits such as:
- Going to bed at a regular time
- Avoiding eating and drinking before bed
- Avoiding other stimulants before bed
- Establishing a regular wind-down routine before bed-time
- Teachers could encourage sleep diaries in which children and parents can monitor performance against sleep patterns
- Government-funded research to assess the impact of sleep on learning – and strategies to support better sleep patterns
- Special help for children living in chaotic households.