Self care week tips – sleep tight, rest is best
This year’s self-care week takes place from November 13-19 and the theme is embracing self-care for life. The aim is to help you stay healthy for your whole life.
A good night’s sleep and feeling well rested is a key part of living a happy and healthy life. Feeling exhausted is so common that it has its own acronym, TATT, which stands for “tired all the time”. At any given time, one in five people feels unusually tired, and one in 10 have prolonged fatigue, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
If you want to work out how you became tired in the first place, it can help to think about:
• parts of your life, such as work and family, that might be particularly tiring
• any events that may have triggered your tiredness, such as a bereavement or relationship break-up
• how your lifestyle may be making you tired, such as drinking alcohol or having a bad diet
• Physical causes of tiredness, such as being under or over-weight
There are lots of health complaints that can make you feel tired. Not just the well-recognised ones like anaemia and thyroid problems, but also more surprising ailments, such as diabetes, food intolerance and a sleeping disorder called sleep apnoea.
Psychological tiredness is far more common than tiredness that’s caused by a physical problem. One key reason is anxiety, which can cause insomnia and, in turn, lead to persistent fatigue. A survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that nearly a third of the population are severely sleep-deprived, often because of job and money worries.
A recent study aptly named The Rest Test found that 68% of 18,000 volunteer participants felt they were not getting enough rest. It is easy to understand why this happens. However, rest is an important factor in general wellbeing and productivity.
The Rest Test, a year-long study conducted by the BBC and Hubbub aimed to understand how different people value rest and crucially whether or not rest is linked to wellbeing. The study found that participants who had an average of 5 – 6 hours’ rest scored the highest on a wellbeing test.
We place so much importance on keeping healthy through things such as exercising and eating well – but just taking a few moments to relax is also a great way of staying mentally and physically well.
Scheduling in time-out for yourself and doing simple activities can go a long way in promoting wellbeing, which in turn can improve performance, productivity and create more good days.