beauty

The real reason for your lack of sleep. And no, it's not your phone.

Image: iStock.

Hands up who finishes the day with their phone in hand, or laptop resting on their tummy in bed?

Yeah, me too. If you’d asked me what keeps us from getting a good night sleep, “smartphones” would probably be my answer. Turns out I’m wrong.

A new study has explored exactly what it is that keeps us from getting a solid night of shut eye at night, and technology is not the main culprit.

Rather, most of us are kept awake at night by worries related to finances and employment.

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With the help of independent research and consulting firm KJT Group, a team of sleep experts at Philips recently undertook a study of nearly 8000 participants from ten countries around the world. In it, participants were monitored for sleep times, awake times, routines during the day and sleep environments with the aim of determining the most common factors for their lack of quality sleep.

What researchers found was that while modern technology certainly plays a role in disrupting our sleep (over 67 per cent of respondents said they sleep with their mobile phones within arm's reach - I'm guilt of that), 28 per cent of participants said that thinking about work and money concerns was the primary reason for their lack of snooze.

Dr. Mark Aloia, Senior Director of Global Clinical Research, Philips, said: "Our report indicates how psychological factors can impact sleep, and how those factors can change depending on the times in which we live. Combating stress is critical to a good night's sleep, but the toughest part for people is often just getting motivated to make changes."

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He notes that while many of us acknowledge and recognise our stressors, we are also unlikely to do anything about it.

So what exactly can you do to ensure a good nights sleep? According to the Sleep Health Foundation the following may assist in waking well rested :

1. Stick to the same sleep schedule. Try and go to sleep at the same time and wake at the same time, even on weekends.

2. Avoid caffeine, cigarettes and heavy meals at night.

3. Establish a sleep routine which includes some quiet, wind down time before bed. This can be reading or meditating but try and stay away from technology and bright lights.

4. Exercise regularly.

5. Create a cool, dark place for you to sleep and make sure you have a comfortable bed and supportive pillow.

6. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, avoid taking naps during the day.

What's your night time ritual?

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