World Sleep Day is a day that highlights the importance of good sleep and the benefits that can bring to an individual. This is especially challenging within policing, where the very nature of the role is not conducive to allowing a good routine, having a regular pattern and enabling yourself to have good quality relaxation time.
Poor sleep hygiene is common within policing due to the nature of incidents and the challenges of shift working. A chronic lack of sleep can contribute to a decline in both physical and mental health with research showing effects such as
- Weakened immunity
- Increased anxiety
- Irritability and mood changes
- Mood swings
- Elevated blood pressure
- Weight gain
Getting enough sleep can reduce your levels of stress, improve your memory and help you to maintain good health overall.
Our volunteers have a background in policing and know the challenges it can bring to your lifestyle. We asked them for advice and tips to share!
- Don’t sleep in a room that is too hot or too cold. Manage your room temperature accordingly and you might find your sleep is less disturbed.
- Avoid stimulants, such as caffeine and alcohol before bed as it can keep you awake.
- If your mind is racing and you have lot’s of thoughts, why not jot them down on a notepad and offload
- Exercise can help, so why not take a walk before you sleep.
- Relaxation techniques can help you to unwind before sleep. Breathing exercises, meditation or a warm bath can help you to wind down after a busy day. You can also try pillow sprays and other essential oils.
- Don’t eat a heavy meal before bed as this can unsettle your sleep.