Dr Neil Stanley is an independent sleep expert who has been involved in sleep research for nearly four decades. In this guest blog post, he breaks down what it means to sleep well – and how you can get the sleep you deserve.
In my book, 'How To Sleep Well', I give a lot of advice about the importance of good sleep and the ways it can be achieved.
Many of us have problems with poor sleep, low-grade exhaustion and sleepiness during the day. To illustrate this point, honestly answer the following question:
How do you feel during the day on a scale of 0 to 10?
(0 being the irresistible desire to fall asleep, and 10 being the most awake you have ever been.)
It’s extremely rare that anyone answers with a 10. But what worries me more is that many people wouldn’t answer with a 9, or even an 8. Lots of people think they are very awake, but that’s probably because they’ve fooled themselves into believing this in order to get through the day.
Evaluate how you feel. Is this really the best you could be? If it’s not, it’s time for a lifestyle change.
Generally, if you don’t feel good during the day, you spend time, and indeed money, on trying to feel better. A multi-vitamin pill to supposedly keep you healthy; a cup of coffee to get you going; a chocolate bar as a treat. Other methods include downing a sugar-laden energy drink, or enjoying a glass of wine to help you relax. At the end of the week, you might indulge in a spa treatment. You think about your upcoming holiday, when you can finally chill out.
Just imagine how much better life would be if you were living every day at your very best.
So why are you going through life at less than your full potential? The most likely explanation is that you’re not sleeping well. Simply put, getting enough sleep will make you feel better each and every day. And let’s not forget that good sleep can also be one of our greatest pleasures.
So how do we sleep better?
As parents, we ensure our children wind down before bedtime. They have a bath, a story/lullaby, then bed, because we know it works. But what is true for children also holds true for adults. It’s just that in our busy lives we seem to forget the basics.
How hard is it?
Imagine putting your children to bed, spending a few hours with your partner and then running yourself a nice warm bath with your favourite bubbles. You have candles, nice music softly playing in the background, and maybe a small glass of wine. You luxuriate in the bath soaking away all the cares and worries of the day. Then as the water starts to cool, you get out, put on a big fluffy towelling robe and then get into a bed that has been freshly made.
That would work, wouldn’t it? So why don’t you do it?
Getting better sleep shouldn’t be a chore or an inconvenience. It should be something we choose to do, something we want to do and something that can be very pleasurable to do.
Sleep well, and live better.
Dr. Neil Stanley is the author of 'How To Sleep Well'. You can learn more about his work by visiting www.thesleepconsultancy.com.
Want to win a Snoreeze Throat Spray and a copy of 'How To Sleep Well'? Enter our giveaway on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.
Entries close on Monday 8th October. T&Cs apply.