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Struggling with Sleep

How much sleep do we need?

People vary greatly in their need for sleep. There is a myth that we all need 7 to 8 hours sleep every night. In reality, many studies have shown that people range between needing 4 hours a night up to needing 10 hours or more. 

Also the amount of sleep a person needs varies throughout their life.  Not only does the need for sleep vary from person to person, and with age, it also varies depending on level of activity. 

What causes sleep problems?

There are a number of reasons why sleep problems can develop.
1.Normal effects of ageing – as mentioned, when people get older they tend to sleep less deeply and need less sleep. 

2.Medical reasons for disrupted sleep – medical reasons for poor sleep may or may not be related to getting older. Such as pain, needing to go to the toilet or medicine.

3.Stress, anxiety and worry – sleep is easily affected by how someone is feeling. If someone is worrying about something or suffering from stress, very often they will find it hard to get off to sleep.

4.Depression and low mood – when someone is feeling depressed, disturbed sleep is common. It is quite usual for a depressed person to wake up early in the morning and find it hard to get back to sleep, or alternatively to have difficulty getting off to sleep.

5.Surroundings – can make a big difference to sleep. For example, a bedroom that is over hot or over cold, a bed that is too hard or too soft, a room that is too noisy or too light can all make a difference to how well someone sleeps. Sleeping in a strange place can also affect someone's sleep.

6.Disrupted sleep routine – people who work shifts which change frequently often have difficulty sleeping.

Our practitioner Dave Taylor ran a Sleep Workshop, we’ve recorded this and provided relevant extracts for you to watch. The video is split into chapters so feel free to skip to the relevant chapters for you.

If you’d like to attend a sleep workshop you can view the workshops available by clicking here.

Do’s and Don'ts of good sleep hygiene

Do go to bed and get up at a regular time.
Do have a bedtime routine and wind down before bedtime.
Do get up if you are worrying, or are not asleep after 30 minutes, and do something relaxing.
Do exercise regularly, but not in the late evening.
Do remember that sleep changes throughout the life cycle and that lack of sleep won’t harm us.
Do make sure your bed and bedroom are comfortable, for example, noise, temperature, light, etc.
Do check whether any medicines you are taking may be affecting your sleep


Don’t worry about not getting enough sleep.
Don’t lie in bed worrying about other problems.
Don’t use your bed for things other than sleep.
Don’t eat or drink caffeine close to bedtime, and cut down during the day.
Don’t smoke close to bedtime.
Don’t drink alcohol close to bedtime.
Don’t go to bed until you feel sleepy.
Don’t take naps during the day.
Don’t stay in bed longer to catch up on lost sleep.


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