How to sleep: Best time to go to sleep this summer – sleep expert

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However, before this is calculated, first each person needs to know the optimum amount of sleep they need.

For example, teenagers (14-17) need at least eight to 10 hours per day while adults (aged 18-64) require seven to nine hours.

On sleep amounts Osmun says it “can vary depending on your age, and usually you will require fewer hours of sleep as you get older.

After the amount of sleep required has been calculated, Osmun said the next step is to “work your way backwards from the time you need to wake up in the morning”.

“So, say you need to be awake at six o’clock and you’re aiming for the recommended seven hours sleep, your bedtime should be eleven o’clock at the latest.”

Osmun continued: “So, say you need to be awake at six o’clock and you’re aiming for the recommended seven hours sleep, your bedtime should be eleven o’clock at the latest.”

“It takes around 90 minutes to complete the four stages and a typical night’s sleep of between seven and nine hours has approximately four or five sleep cycles.”

Is there more to sleep than just amount and timing?

Yes, overall sleep hygiene is essential.

What is sleep hygiene?

The NHS defines sleep hygiene as “a variety of different practices that are necessary to have a normal, quality night’s sleep and increase daytime alertness”.

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There are several methods someone can try to improve their sleep hygiene, such as:
• Going to bed at the same time every day
• Getting up at the at the same time every day
• Reducing or avoiding napping during the day
• Taking regular exercise during daylight exercise, but not within three hours of sleep
• Limiting caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine intake
• Avoiding going to bed hungry or too full
• Only using the bed for sleep and sex
• Not taking worries to bed
• Starting a relaxing bedtime routine
• Keeping the bedroom quiet, dark, and a comfortable temperature
• Not forcing yourself to try to sleep
• Getting regular exposure to natural light.

In some cases, if these methods fail, some may turn to sleep remedies.

However, the NHS cautions, warning “these are no substitute for addressing the problems that cause poor sleep”.

It is considered far healthier to attempt to improve sleep through non-medicinal remedies.

A lack of sleep can also be detrimental to overall health, increasing the risk of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and poor mental health.

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