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Top tips for a good night’s sleep

Many people don’t get enough sleep. Juggling work, family life and social activities can leave us in a constant state of tiredness.

But how can a lack of adequate sleep affect our health? In the short term poor sleep can influence your mood, your ability to make decisions and to learn and retain information. In the long term chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to many serious health conditions, including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and depression.

Loughborough University’s Professor Kevin Morgan has been researching sleep for more than 30 years.

“Sleep problems have both immediate and later consequences,” he explains. “The immediate consequences are fairly obvious – you feel fatigue and less efficient during the day, you’re perhaps clumsier, and you find it difficult to sustain attention over longer periods.

“People with chronic poor sleep, where they actually don’t sleep enough night after night, are far more likely to put on weight and are more pre-disposed to high blood pressure. Both of which are linked to many serious health conditions.

“Poor sleep also has an impact on your mental health. People who don’t sleep very well are far more likely to become depressed, even if they’ve never been depressed in their life before.”

So what can you do to ensure you get a good night’s sleep? For Loughborough’s New Year health and wellbeing campaign Professor Morgan has come up with his five top tips:

  • Go to bed sleepy – reserve your sleepiness for bedtime. Sleeping in the day can disrupt your night time rest.
  • Have a bedtime ritual – routine is sleep’s best friend, it lets your brain know that now is time to sleep.
  • Try to maintain the same getting-up-time each morning; even if you vary the times you go to bed.
  • Avoid spending long periods of lying awake in bed before or during the night. Save your bed for sleep.
  • Don’t ever ‘try’ to sleep – this is a self-defeating act as it is a process that has to happen naturally. If you can’t get to sleep (or get back to sleep) then get up and do something that is not overly stimulating, read a book, make a hot caffeine free drink, then return to bed when you feel sleepy again. 

For more tips and advice to help you have a happy and healthy 2018 follow Loughborough University’s New Year health and wellbeing campaign. Search for the latest campaign content by the #LboroExperts hashtag on Twitter, or on our Facebook page, Snapchat account and YouTube channel.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 18/08

Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world to study sports-related subjects in the 2017 QS World University Rankings and top in the country for its student experience in the 2016 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 6th in the Guardian University League Table 2018, 7th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 and 10th in The UK Complete University Guide 2018. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.