Do we need sleep guidelines?

I was pleased to have the opportunity last Saturday to go on SKY NEWS to talk about the government’s proposed guidelines on hours of sleep we should be getting nightly.  On one hand, I feel it’s a tad ludicrous that such guidelines are being proposed – sleep is an innate ability after all and something that we should be able to do intuitively.  On the other hand, our society is becoming so relentlessly mental and out of touch with the bodies’ needs that maybe we need some help here.

Here are a few of my basic guidelines to help you get better sleep and feel more energised:

  1. If you’re waking up feeling tired no matter how many hours you’re getting it’s probably not about sleep.  Look at your diet, movement, hydration, job satisfaction, relationships….   What’s giving you energy?  What’s draining your energy?
  2. The sleep before midnight….   Are you getting to bed too late?   Night owls might be missing out on those vital hours before midnight which, according to Chinese Medicine, are very restorative for the brain and body.
  3. Is your sleep noisy, dream filled and wired?   Do you have a healthy relationship with technology?   Is ‘electronic noise’ keeping you in a shallow sleep pattern?
  4. Are you needing more than 2 or 3 caffeinated drinks to get you through the day?   You’re probably in a fatigue cycle and need to look at my 5 non-negotiables to clean up your nervous system and sleep.

Finally, are you getting less than the proposed guidelines but still feeling energised and looking forward to the day ahead?   If so, you’re probably getting more than enough sleep!   At the end of the day (excuse the pun), there’s a balance to be struck between getting anxious and uptight about achieving a certain number of hours and caring enough to listen to your body and giving it what it needs – the gift of a good night’s sleep.

Yours in amazing health and energy.



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