Wellbeing: Sleep - just how much is enough?
21 November 2019
Did you know that you can survive longer without food than sleep? Indeed, if you ever find yourself in a life-threatening crisis situation, you should prioritise the need to sleep over food to avoid cognitive impairment. Sleep is vital to our mental and physical health and functioning.
So how much sleep do you need? The answer, of course, is “it depends”: what is right for you is determined by your genetic make-up, current health, and general quality of sleep and lifestyle choices. For the vast majority of adults between 7 and 9 hours per night is appropriate.
To find out if you are hitting the sweet spot, consider these questions:
- Do you wake up feeling refreshed?
- Are you usually waking up before your alarm?
- Are you then ready for bed again at a regular time?
- Do you feel sleepy during the day?
If your answers are respectively yes, yes, yes and no; you are getting it right. If not, it is worth reflecting and investigating why this is the case, and what you can do to improve either sleep duration or quality:
- Is your bedroom set-up (light, noise, temperature, mattress and pillows) to be conducive to good sleep?
- Do you have a relaxing wind-down routine that signals your body and mind to prepare for sleep? Or are worries and high levels of stress keeping you awake at night?
- You may be mentally tired but not physically – do you have a regular exercise routine?
- Turn off your social media alerts if your phone is next to your bed.
- To exclude physical problems such as obstructive sleep apnoea or other conditions disturbing your sleep patterns, I also encourage you to speak to your GP.
As usual, you can reach out to the QLS Solicitor Support service to speak to me in a judgement-free and supportive environment. We also offer training on sleep hygiene. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or p. 3842 5843.
Organisational Culture and Support Officer, QLS Solicitor Support (QLS Ethics and Practice Centre)
21 November 2019