Mak­ing do with less

NEXT (New Zealand) - - Health -

If you need seven to nine hours of sleep each night but you are clock­ing less than six and can’t see your way of out of the new­born haze or moun­tain of work at the of­fice, what can be done? The best cure for in­suf­fi­cient sleep is, of course, sleep, but in the short term Rush Uni­ver­sity’s Gemma Paech says caf­feine and af­ter­noon naps can help to keep mind and body func­tion­ing through­out the day.

“With caf­feine you can de­velop a tol­er­ance to it so you want to use it strate­gi­cally and only have it when you feel you need it as op­posed to hav­ing it all the time,” she says. “Short naps of up to 30 min­utes can also be ben­e­fi­cial, but they can make you feel groggy so don’t have a nap right be­fore you have an im­por­tant meet­ing or you need to drive. It’s best to keep naps and caf­feine away from bed­time – you don’t want to be hav­ing a nap or cof­fee at 9pm then try to sleep at 10.30pm.”

Ul­ti­mately, how­ever, An­gela Camp­bell of the Wel­lSleep Cen­tre says it’s cru­cial to re­mem­ber that get­ting enough sleep is just as im­por­tant as the other pil­lars of a healthy life­style.

“We’ve got into this state where it’s al­most ac­cept­able that you’ll be on call 24 hours a day,” she says. “We’re do­ing our­selves a dis­ser­vice by do­ing that and not giv­ing our­selves the time to switch off and make sleep a pri­or­ity. We all know the im­por­tance of diet and ex­er­cise, and sleep is just as im­por­tant for a healthy life­style as get­ting reg­u­lar ex­er­cise and eat­ing a healthy diet.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.