How to overcome your SLEEP struggles

Does getting a good night’s rest and waking refreshed feel like an impossible dream? Dr. Neil Stanley has research-based advice to help make it a reality

Rest well, LIVE BETTER

Is poor sleep blighting your life? The first thing you need to do is assess
whether you’re actually falling short, says expert Dr. Neil Stanley

Sleep is entirely natural. All living creatures do it, and we’ve done it since the day we were born. Yet, as adults, many of us have a problem getting the amount of quality daily rest we need. This leads to low-grade exhaustion and sleepiness during the day. Whenever I make presentations about sleep, I ask my audience, ‘How awake do you feel during the day, on a scale of naught to 10?’ In this case, naught means you have an irresistible desire to fall asleep and 10 is as awake as you’ve ever been. Nobody ever replies with a 10. Sometimes I get nines or eights, but most people go through life as a five or six. This means they accept feeling tired as their lot.

If you feel awake, alert and refreshed, YOU’VE HAD ENOUGH REST, REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY HOURS YOU’VE SLEPT. If you feel tired during the day, you probably haven’t had enough

They may spend time and money on trying to feel better, taking vitamin supplements, drinking coffee to get going, eating chocolate for energy and having wine to help them relax. Yet they don’t do the one free, easy and natural thing that will definitively make them feel good.

Getting better sleep shouldn’t be a chore or an inconvenience. It should be something we want to do. If you aren’t sleeping well, the first step is to look at your life and lifestyle to see if there are things that may be causing this. These may include your diet, exercise patterns, environment, habits, or the stress and worries of everyday living.

In this section, I will show you how to identify the issues that are keeping you awake and suggest simple ways to improve matters, starting tonight. Sleeping better tonight will make you feel better tomorrow. And so on. Let’s not forget that a good night’s rest can also be one of our greatest pleasures.

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