Importance of sleep

On average we need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night for it to be considered as a good night’s sleep. In addition, going to sleep between 8 pm and midnight is seen as the best time to fall asleep. Personally, I NEED 8 hours of sleep and struggle to stay awake past 11 pm, even on a weekend; however, some people work best at night and some genuinely have no choice but to work during the night. I’ve done a few night shifts during the past and can very much confirm it isn’t for me. Regardless of when you go to sleep, do you understand the importance of sleep?

For mental health reasons sleep is a good way to detox/unwind the brain. Your brain goes through so much during the day (remembering, learning, adapting) and still works at night but it’s the sleep that gives your body a break and allows your brain to restore. Sleep is a good stress reliever; with less sleep, your energy levels, mood, sharpness, and movement reduces.

With less sleep, you could wake up and drag yourself out of bed to start the day but with the average amount of sleep you will have more ‘up and go’. Basically, you’ll have more of a productive day.

During lockdown I can say my sleeping pattern slightly shifted; I was still working but working from home so didn’t care so much about staying up late and waking up early however, I struggled to keep my eyes open during the day. It took a few weeks to get my body back into the correct sleeping pattern for me and by the end, I was more alert, able to concentrate, and work to my full ability.

In terms of health, sleep is important to help your immune system and reduce other illnesses (eg. The common coat, flu, etc) but overall I think you have gathered how essential sleep is. If you struggle to sleep or need 7-9 hours work on slowly adapting your routine. Put your phone on silent, put it aside 40 mins before you go to bed, have a bath, do things that help you unwind.

Switch it up!

Sometimes you will find your environment has a negative impact on your mood, lifestyle and the choices you make in life. Just think about how long some of us have been on lock-down/in isolation for; being in the same rooms and environment constantly could drive the best of us mad.

You may find, especially if you have spent a lot of time in your bedroom or living room during lock-down, that you are too familiar or bored with your surroundings. In previous blogs, I’ve mentioned making small chances, eg. Changing your room layout or lighting candles to refresh your mind but sometimes it really just takes an added a personal touch.

By this I mean: creating your own area for indoor plants, creating and showing your own art work, making something new (a sculpture or piece of furniture), decorate photo frames or lighting, making your own candles or soap. Do something to add your own unique spirit to your room; something you can look at and think ‘wow I did that!’. Whilst keeping your mind busy, you are creating the environment best for you and whenever you need to switch It up again, you’ve got that new project, that new hobby to keep you on your feet.

Warning signs at work

At work, it is so easy to stay in your own bubble or to stay close in a tight ‘work squad’ and forget about other people. Do you ever take time to think about the people around you?

That person you think is being a ‘bitch’ or that person who’s always negative or quiet might be going through something whether in their personal or professional life. It doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t cost you anything to ask that person if they’re ok or if they might want to join you for lunch sometime. People always think what if and think they could have done more when it is too late. If you see signs that someone isn’t doing well, don’t stand back and wonder, step in and ask. A common sign would be a change in behaviour or someone becoming standoffish. Another common sign could be someone who is usually loud or constantly talking as that could be a coping mechanism; a way of taking their mind of what is happening in their life. People who suffer from mental health or have difficulties may keep things hidden especially at work. If you are someone who is not comfortable approaching someone that you don’t know, you can send them information via email of any mental health awareness news, posts or events that are coming up at work.

Don’t be on your phone all day

You miss the world when you’re constantly on your phone. Yes, you can catch up with daily events on news websites, social media etc but it isn’t the same as putting the phone down and having real experiences.

People seem to live on their phones nowadays. I’ve watched people be so consumed by their phones, they’ve walked into lamp posts, other people or nearly killed themselves crossing the road. How sad.

Before phones, if you wanted to see someone you had to either arrange a meeting from the last time you saw them or go to their house. It’s nice now being able to send a message or make a quick call but we are now fixated on our phones that we are not paying attention to what is happening around us. Even now, we sit down to chill with our friends and we’re on our phones.

This is probably why we are so ‘sensitive’ now as we want the appraisal of people we don’t know by updating pictures, commenting on people we don’t know, expecting the know celebrities lives better than we know our own neighbours.

Sometimes, especially when I get home from work I don’t want to be on my phone. I’ll put it on my bedside table and it would stay there all evening. To be away from the phone and have time to relax, read a book, listen to music, go to the gym, go on a walk, spend time with family are just a few things I like to do after work that we take for granted. We need to spend time detoxing instead of checking what’s new on Snapchat and Instagram.
Start getting back into the habit of living and try putting your phone on silent a few times a week as a cleanse.