Older couple sleeping well in bed

What Affects Your Sleep?

What Affects Your Sleep?Waking up tired because of lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep

We’ve all had one of those mornings where the alarm clock has defeated us and we want to savage that chirpy ol’ lark who got to the bathroom first – honestly though, how dare they? We slurp the caffeine from our cups,  scourer at those who talk to us before breakfast, and just about become human again when we are tucking in to our dinner (or lunch for all you southern folk.)

Thankfully, some mornings are better than others. We wake up tad brighter, a little more refreshed and all together glad that we haven’t really had an affair with David, who we don’t know, from the Office, we don’t work at – phew. So what is it that makes each morning so different?  Why is hearing the aptly named ‘radar’ sound emanating from my 6s plus , at times, more bearable than others? So let’s take a look at what affects your sleep.

Late Nights 

Late nights can lead us to feel cranky and tired the next day

Late nights and early mornings are one of the worst combinations! The research shows that in order to wake up on the right side of the bed, you should get your recommend number of hours sleep, each night. But it may come as a surprise that, that number is NOT necessarily eight! According to the Sleep Council the amount of sleep we need varies throughout different stages of our lives. The luckiest age group seems to be babies who are recommended between 14-16 hours kip per day – absolute bliss! Whereas 18-65 year olds can get away with an hour less than teens and an hour more than those over 65, needing between 7-9 hours a day. You should try to get the amount of sleep suggested for your particular age group each and every night, but, do remember these are just guidelines – you will know what feels natural to you. 

 Night Caps

Ok, I will be the first to admit nothing sends me to sleep faster than a full bodied red! Whilst, having a drink on an evening can be a source of relaxation for most of us and send us to lala land a little quicker, alcohol does disrupt our sleep cycle! Most of us have felt the unrelenting affects of having one or two too many, but even a couple of drinks before bed can dramatically effect our quality of sleep – leaving us feeling tired the next morning. So, if your like me, and often enjoy a tipple, the best advice would be to try to give your body time to process the alcohol before you go up to bed – on average it takes around an hour for the liver to break down one unit of alcohol. 

Fast Food and Exercise Allergies 

Who knew that lack of exercise and a fatty diet is considered bad for you? 

Yes yes the sarcasm was intended. We all know that lack of exercise and regularly indulging in foods high in sugar and saturated fat is bad for our health. But, you could be forgiven for overlooking the correlation between these lifestyle choices and the quality of our sleep. Eating foods high in fat, or that are particularly spicy, late in the evening can cause us to experience indigestion, which in turn, can lead to a restless night. Equally a lack of exercise can lead us to make these bad diet choices, whereas undertaking a moderate amount of exercise per day can help us all to fall asleep faster, and generally help to improve, the quality of the sleep we have! But be warned, too much exercise can have the opposite affect, making you feel too alert and awake to drift off. A thirty minute walk on an evening is a great way to help us fall asleep faster and will benefit our physical health. 

Caffeine Fixes 

Caffiene can really effect the quality of our sleep

Ok, so this one is pretty obvious! Most of us know that drinking coffee and tea late at night is a big no-no. Caffeine prevents us from feeling tired and is often the go-to fuel to start the day. But drinking too much can effect the quality of our sleep, leading us to feel tired the next morning and forming a vicious cycle! Try to avoid drinking caffeine late in the afternoon and stick to drinking a morning cuppa instead. 

Gadgets and Gizmos 

Technology also plays a part in reducing the quality of our sleep, the blue light that is emitted from tablets, computers, televisions and our smart phones all play havoc with our internal body clocks

The human race is busier, more impatient, and more reliant on technology than ever before. As a result some of us have trouble switching off at night. Whilst there are many pros the technological age in which we live, the blue light emitted by our tablets TV’s and phones have negative effects on our sleep cycle and our internal body clocks. Some studies have shown that camping is the perfect antidote to our social jet-lag and can help us retune our sleeping patterns! Whilst, the idea of pitching up a tent and laying under the stars every night might sound appealing, depending on who you ask, its not a practical reality. However, their are simple changes we can make in and around the home to help us drift off: switching off our smart phones, televisions and even dimming the lights on an evening will help! 


So there you have it. The choices we make daily, no matter how insignificant or mundane, can have a huge impact on the quality of the sleep we get, and therefore result in us feeling tired and groggy the next morning. For lots more sleep tips and information visit our News page and make sure you follow us on Facebook, twitter and Pinterest