Children’s Mental Health Week starts today and to mark the awareness week, our School Nursing team share their top tips to getting a good night’s sleep.
In the fast-paced and changing world that we live in, it can be hard to get a minute to pause and focus on our mental health. Pressures of social media, chaotic news, friendships, school and work all play a part in the juggling of life and all can have a big impact on our sleep.
Why is sleep important?
Following our day to day activities, sleep is essential to allow the brain and body to recover and function properly the following day. Stress, anxiety and pressures can keep us up at night causing a knock on effect to how we feel and function.
In addition to our mental health, sleep is key to keeping our heart health in check along with preventing and fighting off infections.
The recommended length of sleep is seven to nine hours a night, however a recent study by Aviva found that 67% of UK adults suffer from disrupted sleep, resulting in 23% only getting five hours of sleep a night.
Find out how much sleep you need using this sleep chart.
Tips for a good night's sleep
For us, the key is routine. Create a process of doing the same relaxing things, in the same order and at the same time every night. Having a routine pinned down that works for you can drastically improve your sleep quality.
Some people wind down to podcasts, others read - everyone is different. It may take a while to find what works for you but we’ve shared some of our pointers that we find help.
A warm bath before bed can help ease the relaxation process - extra bubbles and rubber ducks are essential (for us anyway).
Keeping the lights dim before bed encourages the body to produce melatonin, an essential sleep hormone. And it’s not just lights around your home, the bright lights from our phones can impact too, but fortunately most phones have a setting to auto dim on approach to bed time.
Talking of screens, try to avoid screens in the bedroom, keeping light and noise to a minimum helps ensure a deep and restful sleep.
Before trying to get to sleep, try relaxing in bed reading a book or listening to soothing music - creating a peaceful environment helps our brains power down.
Get into the zen zone with breathing exercises before you go to bed, these are proven to help stabilise anxieties and help calm the mind.
There’s so much advice out there but here’s a few resources which we think you’ll find useful.
For more resources visit the Teen Sleep Hub.