PIL­LOW TALK

ARE YOU GET­TING THE BEST NIGHT’S SLEEP YOU CAN?

Style Magazine - - Health -

How won­der­ful is a good night’s sleep? You wake up re­freshed, re­laxed and full of en­ergy to face the day.

For many though, the time it takes from your head hit­ting the pil­low to drift­ing off can seem an eter­nity.

We all have dif­fer­ent trig­gers that may pre­vent a good night’s sleep, with doc­tors iden­ti­fy­ing the fol­low­ing as ma­jor hur­dles to us achiev­ing that much–needed shut eye: Sleep ap­nea: Most com­mon in men over 65 years (but any­one can suf­fer from it). The con­di­tion causes snor­ing and your breath­ing to stop and start many times dur­ing your sleep­ing cy­cle. A ‘con­tin­u­ous pos­i­tive air­way pres­sure’ (CPAP) ma­chine, keeps your air­ways open and lets you get a full night’s rest. In­som­nia: Can be chronic or more likely short term (which can be brought on by stress, jet–lag or dif­fer­ing work shifts).

Rest­less leg syn­drome (RLS): Is when you feel tin­gles or sore­ness in your legs that urge you to move, of­ten de­scribed as a ‘creepy crawly’ sen­sa­tion. Med­i­ca­tion and be­havioural ther­apy can be used to limit this. Sleep walk­ing: Of­ten in­volves talk­ing, mov­ing and walk­ing un­con­sciously, can be danger­ous for you or those sleep­ing around you. It is most com­mon in young chil­dren, but can hap­pen to any­one.

If you sus­pect you have a sleep­ing dis­or­der, please visit a med­i­cal pro­fes­sional to de­ter­mine the right course of ac­tion to ad­dress your con­di­tion. If you’re sim­ply look­ing for a few tips to help nod off each evening, then why not try th­ese tried and true hacks to a bet­ter night’s sleep (and even though we all know them, all too of­ten we’re guilty of not giv­ing our­selves the best chance of a de­cent snooze):

■ Don’t use your phone, tablet or lap­top just be­fore bed — the blue light stim­u­lates the brain and will keep you awake.

■ Don’t drink caf­feine in the late af­ter­noon or evening — for many, it’s a guar­an­tee you’ll be star­ing at the ceil­ing for hours.

■ Do cre­ate a reg­u­lar night–time rit­ual. This could be as sim­ple as read­ing a book, tak­ing a bath or shower or med­i­tat­ing to put you in the state of mind to sleep — it tells your body that it’s time for bed.

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