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The New Sleep Rules

2 MIN READ • 11th December 2017

As we start the new year with our best intentions, it’s time to put some bad habits to bed – especially when it comes to getting in the ZZZZZs

Your new year resolution to get more kip may sound like the stuff of dreams, but thanks to the help of Dr. Petra Simic, sleep expert at Bupa Health Clinics (, we find out how you can do just that as she predicts the slumber trends for 2018.

  • 1. Sleep binging
    Yes, a full night’s sleep every night is the ultimate goal. Yet for most of us, this is an unrealistic expectation because of children or working late hours. So, when you get the opportunity for a good, long sleep – take it. Recharging your batteries with an extra-long slumber at the weekend or during a holiday is something we should embrace and enjoy. Regular sleep binges will help your body to do all the repairing it needs to do – so don’t feel guilty about having an early night, or an extra lie in.

  • 2. The rise of the anti-trackers
    Modern society has taught us to count everything. Whether it’s the calories we consume or how many steps we take each day, most of the time counting helps us to develop better habits. However, putting a number on how many hours of sleep we should be getting can exacerbate anxiety about not being able to get enough. With more of us counting sleep rather than sheep, 2018 should be the time when we reflect as individuals on what we need, and what we can realistically achieve. If you are someone who struggles to nod off, or you find yourself waking up during the night, don’t be tempted to check the time. This immediately causes your brain to calculate how many hours of sleep you’ve clocked and stimulates it with light, making it less likely that you’ll fall asleep again quickly.

  • 3. Made-to-measure sleep
    Often we complain that we don’t sleep well, however, when you dig a bit deeper, most of the time we are comparing ourselves with those (literally) closest to us – usually our partners or the people we live with. Instead of judging yourself on the habits of others, ask yourself how you feel about your sleep. The amount of sleep you need really varies, and we need to think about our individual needs when it comes to getting a good night’s rest.

  • 4. Losing the race to bed
    This year try to lose the race to bed. In the evening we naturally start to relax and feel sleepy, whether it’s in front of the TV or elsewhere. We then realise it’s time for bed and rush to prepare. This adrenaline stimulates our bodies and makes it harder to drop off. Lose the rush to bed and instead do all the necessary bed- preparation before you sit down to relax. Get your PJs on and teeth brushed before chilling out. Avoid screens, dim the lights and let yourself relax. Once you feel sleepy, just take yourself straight to bed.

  • 5. Boost energy levels with a nap
    It may be hard to squeeze in around work but a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help improve mood, alertness and performance, especially in the early afternoon when blood sugar levels are low. Just remember that naps shouldn’t replace long periods of sleep, as this is when the real work begins and our bodies really get the chance to rejuvenate and repair.

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