Making the most of sleep

A good sleep keeps you healthy, mentally sharp, and able to cope with stress more effectively. If you struggle to sleep, try these tips from the Police Mutual Foundation’s Wellbeing Zone.

Sleep is an important resource that keeps you healthy, mentally sharp, and able to cope with stress more effectively. Six to eight hours a night seems to be the optimal amount of sleep for most adults, and too much or too little can have adverse effects on your health.

Sleep deprivation is such a common condition that you might not even realise you suffer from it. Research has now established that a sleep deficit can have serious, far-reaching effects on your health.

For example, interrupted or poor quality sleep can seriously impair your memory, affect your performance on physical or mental tasks, weaken your immune system, and wreak havoc on your weight.

Take a look at these tips to make sure you get a good night's sleep:

  • Have a milky drink
  • Go for a short walk
  • Try to have a regular, unhurried bedtime routine
  • Play relaxing music
  • Make sure you've had some exercise during the day so you feel tired
  • Avoid napping in the hours before bedtime
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine and large meals before bedtime
  • Don't drink too much liquid - it may wake you with a full bladder!
  • Relax before bed - watch a DVD, take a hot bath or try a relaxation exercise
  • Create a good sleeping environment - get rid of distractions such as bright lights, an uncomfortable bed, or a TV, computer or mobile in the bedroom.

For more hints and tips to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle, visit the Police Mutual Wellbeing Zone. New users should check with their HR department to find out their force-specific login and organisation code.