Counting sheep is just not working for an army of sleep-deprived Britons, figures show. Recent studies suggest that a shocking 38 per cent of
5pys5paH5p2l5rqQ6auY6ICD55u06YCa6L2madults here don't get enough kip. This puts as among the worst countries in the world for a good night's sleep. But experts agree lack of rest has a drastic effect on our mood and ?motivation.
Sharing a bed with your partner might feel comforting but it is not helping you doze off. Couples who bed down together have lighter sleep and move around more in the night ?compared with those who have the covers to themselves. They also experience less REM sleep - the rapid eye ?movement phase that is typically associated with dreaming and is so important because it allows the body ?to recharge and replenish.
Sleeping apart might not just save your rest but also your relationship. A recent study found that people who sleep badly have a higher divorce rate, engage in more arguments and suffer from a lack of empathy.
Do not eat before bedtime
As your body burns off calories from the food you eat it creates heat and a raised body temperature can interrupt a sound night's sleep. To make matters worse your body's metabolism also slows down when you fall asleep, causing any undigested calories to be stored as fat and potentially lead to weight gain. Eating your supper three or four hours before bedtime is best because it allows your body time to digest and metabolise.
The eight hour myth
It is a common misconception that eight hours' sleep is the recommended amount needed by everyone each night. Sleep need is as individual as height. It is genetically determined. But everyone is different when it comes to how much sleep they need in order to wake up rested and refreshed.
Some might survive off five while others will not feel at their best with less than nine. Work out how much sleep you need to perform best the next day - to be focused and feel awake. Then you should consistently try to get this amount of shut-eye each night to ?maintain a healthy schedule.