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Affinity Health is a leading provider of high-quality health cover, sharing five tips to clear a racing mind and pave the way for a peaceful, rejuvenating sleep.

“Sleep is as crucial as diet and exercise. It’s the body’s natural reset button – a time for the brain to process, repair, and rejuvenate,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

“But when a racing mind impedes this process, it can lead to fatigue, decreased cognitive function, and a plethora of health issues impacting overall health and daily functioning.”

The Effects of Lack of Sleep on the Body and Mind

Lack of sleep, or sleep deprivation, has profound effects on both the body and the mind.

Physiologically, sleep deprivation can weaken the immune system, increase the risk of chronic conditions such as obesitydiabetes, and cardiovascular disease, and disrupt hormonal balances, including cortisol and insulin production.

Cognitive and mental repercussions are equally concerning. A sleep-deprived brain struggles with memory consolidation, attention, decision-making, and problem-solving.

Moreover, emotional regulation is compromised, often resulting in mood swings, increased irritability, and a heightened risk of mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.

Furthermore, prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to microsleeps, brief episodes of sleep that last a few seconds, which can be particularly dangerous during activities like driving.  

How Much Sleep Should Adults Be Getting?

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults aged 18 to 64 get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. However, some people feel well-rested and function efficiently with as little as six hours, while others might need up to 10 hours.

“It’s essential to note that individual sleep needs can vary,” adds Hewlett.

“Factors influencing these needs include genetics, age, overall health, stress levels, physical activity, and lifestyle. Adults must pay attention to their bodies and assess their feelings during the day to determine the right amount of sleep for them.”

Restful Sleep Is Within Reach 

These five tips, while simple, can create a profound shift in one’s sleep quality.

1- Establish a Pre-Sleep Ritual

A routine signals the brain about what’s next: by crafting a calming pre-sleep ritual – be it reading, deep breathing exercises, or listening to soft music – individuals can train their minds to transition into a state of relaxation. Choose activities that resonate with you. It’s about consistency and association.

2 -Digital Detox

In our interconnected era, screens are a significant culprit behind sleep disturbances. The blue light emitted by phones, tablets, and computers disrupts the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Affinity Health recommends powering down all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime to let the brain unwind naturally.

3- Mindful Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation have surged in popularity due to their profound benefits. Focusing on the present moment and practising deep, rhythmic breathing can replace the chaos of racing thoughts with a peaceful stillness conducive to sleep.

4- Journaling

Transferring worries onto paper can be a cathartic process. By jotting down nagging thoughts, concerns, or to-do lists, individuals can free up mental space, allowing the mind to rest.

5 – Optimal Sleep Environment

The setting plays a pivotal role. A calm, dark room, a comfortable mattress, and soft, breathable bed linens can make a difference. Consider introducing calming scents like lavender, known for its sleep-inducing properties.

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