5 Steps to Change Your Thoughts and Improve Your Well-being
Similar to the well-worn adage of ‘you are what you eat’, you are also what you think—specifically, your thoughts have a direct influence on your mental health. You’ve most likely experienced this throughout your life when you felt stressed and anxious. Negative, unhealthy thoughts—such as ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I hate my body’—can cause you to develop both physical and mental health conditions, such as high blood pressure and depression as well as impair your metabolism and immune system.
UK Adults Still Ranked the Worst Sleepers in New Study
With 38 per cent of UK adults admitting that they do not regularly get enough sleep, the United Kingdom has—again—been ranked as the worst country for sleep in a recent international survey. On average, adults require between six to nine hours of sleep each night, with 7.7 hours being the optimum amount, according to the Royal Society for Public Health. Yet, more than 20 million UK adults are getting less than that.
The benefits of a good night’s sleep are numerous—including netting you more pay. A joint study from Williams College and the University of California at San Diego in the United States found that a one-hour increase in average weekly sleep increases wages by 1.5 per cent in the short term and 4.9 per cent in the long run.
- Thankfully, poor sleep is generally a simple problem to address. To help ensure that you get enough sleep each night, follow these five simple steps:
- Establish a regular sleep schedule. This should be something that you can easily maintain, even during the weekend.
- Wind down your activities as you get closer to your bedtime, as your body needs time to shift into sleep mode.
- Avoid taking frequent naps throughout the week. Even though naps may be enjoyable, napping too much or too long can disrupt your sleep schedule.
- Keep electronics away from your bed. Devices such as smartphones and tablets produce ‘blue light’, which stops your brain from producing melatonin, a chemical that makes you feel tired.
- Don’t indulge in nicotine or caffeine close to your bedtime, as the stimulating effects of those substances can take hours to wear off.
If you are still having trouble getting a good night’s rest after following the above guidance, talk to your GP, as he or she can evaluate your symptoms and refer you to a board-certified sleep specialist, if necessary.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.