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How you (and your patients) can start to get more and better quality sleep

How much sleep are you and your patients getting?

I’ll be honest, writing this blog post on sleep is a big wake-up call for me! (Excuse the pun.)

How many of you, like me, just can't help at the end of the evening watching an extra Netflix episode, checking emails, or scrolling Instagram/TikTok?

We spend (our should spend!) around a third of our lives asleep.

Yet in our increasingly 24/7 society, with the advent of laptops, tablets and smartphones, sleep is given less and less importance. A lot of us are getting far less of it than we should be (only 6-7 hours per night on average in the UK!), and what we are getting often isn’t the best quality sleep.

Good quality sleep is crucial for our bodies and our brains. It’s important that we experience the different stages of sleep. The most restful, deepest stage of sleep is when we process information, rest, restore and repair. Our heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate reduce. Then during REM sleep, we are processing, storing, and pruning our memories and connections. REM sleep is crucial for our performance during the day.

What’s the impact of poor sleep on our health?

  • Poor day-to-day functioning

  • Irritability

  • Impact on general health (when we’re tired, we’re less likely to eat healthily or take exercise)

  • Impact on cardiovascular/heart health

  • Risk of obesity and Type II Diabetes

  • Risk of mental health problems and depression

How you (and your patients) can start to get more and better quality sleep

By improving your routine around sleep, and your sleep environment, you can improve the quality of your sleep and help mitigate the impact of poor sleep on your physical and mental health.

And you'll feel so much better, brighter, and more able to cope with life's demands.

  • Have a routine around sleep (even at weekends)

  • Use low lighting and turn off screens a couple of hours before bed

  • Wind down by taking a warm bath, meditating and/or using aromatherapy before bed

  • Make sure your bedroom is cool (around 18 degrees), dark, quiet and free from distractions - keep the bedroom for sleep


  • Get in the habit of asking your patients about their sleep - it may help give you a better overall picture of their health.


A good night time routine sets you up for a good day too; take a look at our article on Healthy Morning Routines for Medics. And if you want to learn more, we have a whole module on the Science of Sleep in our CPD accredited digital Lifestyle Medicine Course 1... take a look.


⬇⬇⬇ Upcoming event ⬇⬇⬇

Join me and get 10% off this BMJ event in November!

Join me and get 10% off!

BMJ Masterclass GP

General Update

Tuesday 1 - Wednesday 2 November 2022 [virtual event]

I’m excited to join the speaker line-up at the BMJ Masterclass GP General Update this November, speaking on How Lifestyle Medicine can enhance your Clinical Practice.

How Lifestyle Medicine can enhance your Clinical Practice

We will cover:

  • What is the Lifestyle Medicine Specialty

  • Why this is crucial in the modern health crisis epidemic

  • How evidence based lifestyle interventions are a powerful additional tool in treating your patients.

  • How to fit this into GP and specialist consultations using motivational interviewing

Check out the full programme on the link below.

Join us to gain vital clinical updates in 18 common conditions seen in primary care. Use discount code PRACTICE10 for 10% off.



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