The impact a good night’s sleep can have on our physical and mental health is widely recognised.

We all have bust times at work which can lead to us not getting enough sleep – this can have a huge impact on our performance.

Sleep deprivation can result in cognitive impairment, particularly if you are undertaking tasks that require vigilance, decision-making, and the use of short and long-term memory.

Quick guide to healthy sleep


  • Keep to a routine
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time each day
  • Avoid vigorous exercise closer to bedtime
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks e.g. coffee, tea, green tea, and foods, like chocolate
  • Avoid daytime naps, or limit them to between 15 and 20 minutes

At bedtime

  • Make sure the bedroom is dark and quiet, and at a comfortable temperature
  • Limit exposure to white or blue light close to bedtime (eg electronic devices and LED lights)
  • Try not to work in bed
  • Avoid heavy alcohol use and heavy meals close to bedtime
  • Try light stretching exercises, such as yoga or Tai-chi
  • Or try a warm bath or a shower for relaxation before bedtime

Difficulty getting to sleep?

  • If you find you are having trouble falling asleep, for longer than 15 minutes, get out of bed and do something less engaging or something relaxing.
  • If you get out of bed, keep the lights dim, and avoid blue light exposure.
  • Stop clock watching; set the alarm and turn it around so that you cannot see the time display.
  • If you have persistent worries, jot them down on a piece of paper and leave it on one side until you can come back to think about it in the morning.

When to seek help

If you experience any of the following, they could be signs that your sleep health is impaired and you should seek medical support.

  • Work-related mistakes
  • Inability to concentrate or make decisions
  • Extreme irritability
  • Strong emotional reactions
  • Drowsy driving.

Other signs include loud snoring, apnoea, restless legs or periodic leg movements closer to bedtime.

Helpful sleep resources


Sleep and power nap system to fall asleep fast, stay asleep, and wake up feeling refreshed.

Relaxation techniques

There are many ways to relax physically and mentally. The most important thing is that you take the time to explore and discover what works best for you.

Here are some everyday ways to relax and release stress and tension from the mind and body:

Talking to trusted family and friends makes us feel safe, assured and helps us to process challenging things that may have happened during the day.

This can release a rewarding feeling in the brain – but try to go for sugar free options to protect your teeth.

Having a bath or shower at the end of the day relieves muscle tension and encourages better sleep.

These can evoke memories of happy or peaceful places.

This is proven to reduce stress levels and increases the bond between you and your pet – as long as they like it too!

Gardening is beneficial in many ways – getting out into nature, fresh air and light, releasing seratonin and endorphins, gentle exercise.

Listening to soothing music can help you to slow your breathing and relax before bed. It can also be used throughout the day whilst doing other tasks to improve mindfulness and lower cortisol levels.

Scientifically proven to reduce stress levels, this could be watching a comedy, listening to a funny podcast or remembering funny occasions.

Relaxation resources

NHS guide to yoga

All you need to know to get started with yoga, including the health benefits, yoga styles for beginners and finding a yoga class.

Visualisation to reduce anxiety

Visualisation is a powerful technique that can help you unwind and relieve stress. It involves using mental imagery to achieve a more relaxed state of mind.

NHS – Mindfulness

Pay more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – to improve your mental wellbeing.

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