HEALTH MAT­TERS

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

●● EMMA Leigh, NHS East­ern Cheshire Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (CCG) clin­i­cal projects man­ager LAST week was Men­tal Health Aware­ness Week and na­tion­ally the fo­cus was on re­la­tion­ships.

Good re­la­tion­ships help us live longer and hap­pier lives, with fewer phys­i­cal and men­tal health prob­lems.

In­vest­ing in your re­la­tion­ships is as im­por­tant as healthy eat­ing, ex­er­cis­ing and not smok­ing.

Here at NHS East­ern Cheshire CCG, we are ask­ing peo­ple to look a lit­tle closer to home – to their bed­room habits in fact!

I’m talk­ing about ‘sleep hy­giene’, i.e. the habits and prac­tices that are con­ducive to sleep­ing well on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

A good sleep rou­tine pro­motes healthy sleep and day­time alert­ness, for ev­ery­one – chil­dren and adults. Good sleep hy­giene prac­tices can pre­vent the devel­op­ment of sleep prob­lems and dis­or­ders.

Here are 10 things you should know about get­ting bet­ter sleep.

Each of th­ese points is based on sci­en­tific re­search, and could help you to get the most out of your sleep:

1) Don’t eat or drink prod­ucts con­tain­ing caf­feine (tea, cof­fee, co­coa, choco­late, soft drinks) for at least four hours be­fore bed­time.

2) Avoid nico­tine (in­clud­ing nico­tine patches or chew­ing gum, etc.) an hour be­fore bed­time and when wak­ing at night.

3) Avoid al­co­hol around bed­time, be­cause although it can pro­mote sleep at first, it can dis­rupt sleep later in the night.

4) Avoid eat­ing a large meal im­me­di­ately be­fore bed­time, although a light snack may be ben­e­fi­cial.

5) Try to do reg­u­lar (even mild) phys­i­cal ex­er­cise if you are able, but avoid do­ing this in the two hours be­fore bed­time.

6) Keep the bed­room calm and tidy. Se­lect a mat­tress, sheets, and pil­lows that are com­fort­able.

7) Avoid mak­ing your bed­room too hot or too cold.

8) Keep the bed­room quiet and dark­ened dur­ing the night, but try to spend some time in day­light (or bright ar­ti­fi­cial light) dur­ing the day.

9) Keep your bed­room mainly for sleep­ing; try to avoid watch­ing tele­vi­sion, lis­ten­ing to the ra­dio, or eat­ing in your bed­room.

10) Try to keep reg­u­lar times for go­ing to bed and get­ting up.

Still look­ing for more ways to re­lax? Visit my­mind.org.uk/the­box/ down­loads for more in­spi­ra­tion.

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