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Updated: Sep 28, 2021

Are you having difficulty sleeping? You are not alone. Research shows that 35% to 50% of adults suffer from symptoms of insomnia.

If you are getting insufficient sleep or if you are having low-quality sleep you may start suffering from a range of symptoms, including fatigue, irritability and mood swings, difficulty in focusing and remembering and even a reduced sex drive.

Lack of sleep can affect various aspects of health, including:

Your immune system: Sleep deprivation may mean that you are more prone to infections, which may also take longer to get over.

Your weight: Sleep can affect the hormones that control feelings of hunger and fullness, and changes to sleep patterns can cause increased fat storage, resulting in changes in body weight.

Your cardiovascular system: Sleep helps your heart vessels to heal and rebuild and also affects processes that maintain blood pressure, sugar levels, and inflammation control. When you get too little sleep you increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Your hormone levels: Insufficient sleep can affect the production levels of your hormones, including the production of growth hormones and testosterone,and may also trigger the production of stress hormones.

Your brain: Poor sleep affects the prefrontal cortex, which handles reasoning, and the amygdala, which is responsible for emotion. Sleep deprivation may also make it harder for a person to form new memories, affecting learning.

Your fertility: Poor sleep may affect the production of hormones that boost fertility.

Have we convinced you that you REALLY need your sleep?

Many things can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep. Many times your daily routine - work stress, anxiety and certain habits may be at fault and contributing to your sleepless nights.

Sometimes, small adjustments to your daily habits will help make it easier for you to fall asleep, and to help ensure that the sleep you get is of higher quality.

First of all, look at your environment: make sure your bedroom is as quiet and as comfortable as possible. You can reduce noises that can interfere with your sleep by:

ü using earplugs

ü using heavy curtains and rugs in the bedroom to absorb sound

ü installing double-glazed windows

ü adding “white noise”. You can do this easily by downloading an app or playing music that provide soothing sounds.

ü Remove other “disturbances” such as a television, telephone and any other reminders of the stressful world out there.

Additionally, here are a few tips to help you improve your sleep:

Reduce your caffeine intake: Caffeine drinkers may find it difficult to fall asleep and once they DO fall asleep, their sleep tends to be shorter and lighter. If you suffer from insomnia you should avoid caffeine as much as possible, as its effects can last for many hours.

Stop smoking: Nicotine is a stimulant and can contribute to causing insomnia. Smoking speeds your heart rate, raises blood pressure, and stimulates fast brain-wave activity that indicates wakefulness. If you don’t stop smoking completely, avoid smoking for at least one to two hours before bedtime.

Use alcohol cautiously: A nightcap can help some people fall asleep. However, the quality of this sleep is abnormal because alcohol suppresses REM sleep, and its sleep-inducing effects disappear after a few hours. Drinkers will wake up frequently and may be disturbed by frightening dreams. Up to 10% of chronic insomnia cases can be attributed to alcohol. Alcohol can also worsen snoring and other nocturnal breathing problems, sometimes to a dangerous extent.

Get physically active: Studies show that by exercising 3-4 times a week you can improve your sleep and that you will also be more alert during the day. You will fall asleep faster, achieve more deep sleep, and wake up less often during the night. Exercise seems to be of particular benefit to older people.

But try to avoid exercising within two hours before you go to sleep as the exercise will stimulate you and make it harder for you to fall asleep.

Unplug: Many of us tend to resort to the big or the smaller screen for our relaxation before we sleep. However, studies have shown that watching TV or scanning Facebook before bedtime is negatively impacting our sleep. The artificial blue light emitted by electronic devices makes it more difficult for you to fall asleep by delaying your body’s internal clock.

What’s the solution? Try to set an electronics curfew for yourself 1-2 hours before bedtime to allow you to fully relax before you enter the Land of Nod.

Stick to a regular schedule: Studies show that going to bed at the same time every night helps to regulate your body’s internal clock which improves the quality of your sleep. People with the most regular sleep habits actually suffer from the fewest problems with insomnia and the least depression. A regular sleep schedule keeps your internal body clock synchronised and experts advise getting up at about the same time every day, even after a late-night party or fitful sleep. Having a nap during the day may also make it harder to get to sleep at night.

However, if your goal is to improve your alertness during the day, a scheduled nap may actually help. Also if you are suffering from insomnia and are anxious about getting enough sleep, a planned nap may reduce anxiety and so improve the quality of your night-time sleep.

Meditate: If your “busy” mind is keeping you awake at night, meditation may help you to unwind and switch off. Meditating before bed has been shown to relieve stress and promote feelings of calmness and relaxation.

So, how should you meditate if you’ve never done this before? There are various apps that can guide you through this – read more here.

Hopefully these new habits will help you regain the rest you need from a good night’s sleep, but if you are still suffering from insomnia, we would recommend that you consult your medical practitioner as this condition can have a wide-ranging effect on your quality of life and even your health.

One of the main influences on your quality of life is your health. Regular medical and blood screening is key for such diagnosis and we recommend annual screening tests for effective diagnosis to ensure that you can maintain your quality of life.

If you would like information contact us today on +356 21221355, 9985 2404 or send an email on for more information.

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