Do you want to help your students or athletes improve how they think and feel? Would you like your students to get better exam results? Do you wish you could concentrate for longer and have a better memory? There is a simple, quick and easy way to do all of that. All you have to do is sleep a bit better.
The Benefits of Sleep
There has been a lot of research done on the power of sleep. Scientists have found that those
who sleep better at night have been found to:
- Have better concentration
- Have increased memory
- Focus less on the negative
- Are more creative
- Have a better immune system
- Be better decision makers
Probably as a result of these things combining, students who sleep better have been found to get significantly higher grades than their sleepy peers, with the amount you sleep making up to half a grade's difference.
How Much Is Enough?
There is no exact answer for how much sleep people need, but chances are you aren’t getting enough. The amount of sleep you need depends on your age, with adults and older teenagers needing less than children. Experts tend to recommend about 7-9 hours a night on average. A recent survey found that most of us are getting less than 6¾ hours each night. In many of the schools that we visit to run our workshops, many students say they are getting less than 6.
Sleep Your Way To Success
If you want to become an expert in sleep, may we recommend the excellent Richard Wiseman book, Night School, as it really is a superb overview of all things sleep related. In the meantime, here are six scientifically proven ways to help you, your students or your athletes nod off:
- Have a regular bed time - This helps to keep your body clock consistent and it also helps you avoid unwanted distractions.
- Get on your bike – Doing an hour's exercise two hours before bed time helps tire you out, increases the blood flow in the arteries and raises your body temperature.
- Turn down the brightness on your phone – The sleep hormone, melatonin, gets released when it is dark. The bright light on your phone tricks your brain into thinking it is day and stops this from happening.
- Eat a small turkey and cheese sandwich – Turkey, cheese and bread all contain Tryptophan, which helps you fall asleep, making this the perfect sleepy sandwich.
- Drink cherry juice – Cherries are a natural source of the sleep hormone, melatonin. Studies have found that those who drank a glass of cherry juice an hour before bed fell asleep quicker and for longer.
- Take a hot bath – Your body temperature drops when you sleep. You can prompt this sleepy state when you step out of a hot bath.
For more about the hidden benefits of sleep, as well as a collection of resources to help you get a better night's sleep, visit our handy guide.