A quick snooze has more benefit than just reducing your dark circles – it gives your brain time to refresh. It’s time to start focusing on how to get more sleep…
A recent study shows that the brain’s unique method of cleansing itself – known as the glymphatic system – is highly active during sleep, clearing away toxins that would otherwise build up and trigger neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
If you still don’t feel refreshed after a long night’s sleep the following things could be getting in the way of your dreams:
The amount of fluid needed depends on the individual, but you should aim to go to the toilet at least three times a day. Between six and eight glasses of water-based drinks – including tea and coffee – a day are recommended.
More than half of us reach for a glass of vino between three to four times per week to relax after a hectic day. While alcohol relaxes you initially, it can compromise your sleep quality – even if you are getting the recommended 7-8 hours. The chemicals in alcohol disrupt your sleep cycle, preventing you from entering deep sleep.
The disorder affects 3-7% of the population. Sufferers wake up because they stop breathing anywhere from five times to hundreds of times an hour. Sounds scarier than it us but you’ll sleep for longer because your sleep quality is compromised. Snoring, being overweight, and waking up with a headache – caused by a nocturnal lack of oxygen – are all symptoms of sleep apnea. Speak to your doctor if they sound familiar.
A nap can take the edge off an afternoon slump – how do you have time for naps?! – But the duration of your downtime is crucial. It has been clinically proven that taking a nap for up to 30 minutes is revitalising, but any longer than that and you’ll end up in a REM cycle for an hour. Waking mid-cycle can leave you feeling groggy so if you want to nap for longer, have one lasting 90 minutes.