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Video session 2: Improving your wellbeing



Sleep, your superpower


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You spend about a third of your life sleeping. It's clearly got a purpose, otherwise, it'd just be wasted time!


Sleep is actually your superpower. During sleep, your body repairs itself. Sleep improves energy, concentration, learning and memory. It reduces your risk of anxiety, depression, heart disease and dementia.


A cycle of broken sleep can make life particularly difficult if you have type 2 diabetes. Losing sleep, or not getting enough, has a big impact on your sense of wellbeing.


Getting too little sleep also increases your appetite and reduces your sense of feeling full. Losing sleep also causes you to crave carbohydrates and sugary foods. You'll tend to become more impulsive, and less able to stick to decisions about healthier food choices.


When you’re short on sleep, you’re also more likely to feel tired and less inclined to exercise. This is a problem because regular exercise helps with weight management and keeping blood sugar down.


If you're needing help to sleep better, visit our Sleep Better page for hints, tips and tools to help you.

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So if you're struggling with sleep, what can you do? 


Fortunately, there are some positive steps you can take today: 


  1. Create a routine. Help your body understand that it's sleep time by having a regular bedtime. 
  2. Get some morning light. If possible, try and get outside for at least 20 minutes each morning. This helps train your body into better rhythms. 
  3. Enjoy caffeine before noon. Your body takes about 6 hours to reduce caffeine levels by half. Coffee and tea disrupt the quantity and quality of your sleep. 
  4. Unplug before bed. Try to avoid watching TV or looking at your mobile phone for at least an hour before bed. Otherwise, your brain is way too active to sleep well. 
  5. Keep your room cool. Studies show that around 18.5°C is ideal.
  6. Dim the lights. Darkness signals to your body that it's time to rest. Artificial light from mobile devices and TVs affects you. They create the same kind of light as the morning sun, which makes your body think it's time to wake up when it's really time to sleep. Leave them outside the bedroom.  Your body will thank you.


Find out more on the Public Health England One You website.


Watch sleep expert Matthew Walker's 5 tips for getting to sleep quicker



"Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day - Mother Nature's best effort yet at contra-death." - Matthew Walker


If you're not convinced about how important sleep is for your health, watch this video. You may be surprised!

More tips on how to sleep better? Watch this short video by Colin Espie, professor of sleep medicine at Oxford University.

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