Northamptonshire NHS

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Stay hopeful



For many people sleep is that period of the 24-hour day when we are unconscious and unaware of our surroundings. 

Normal sleep occurs in a recurring cycle of 90 to 110 minutes and is divided into two categories, non-REM sleep and REM sleep.

During the first stage of non REM sleep, we are half awake and half asleep, our muscle activity slows down and slight twitching may occur. This is a period of light sleep, meaning we can be awakened easily at this stage.

We then enter stage two, where the breathing pattern and heart rate start to slow down. This period accounts for the largest portion of sleep.

Most people don't actually think very much about their sleep, they just take it for granted. Very often this changes when people find themselves living through periods of high stress or depression.

Being unable to sleep as usual can become a real problem.

Top Tips to improve sleeping problems

  • Try to retire to your bed to sleep at the same time every night
  • If you have not dropped off to sleep after about 20 minutes get up and leave the bedroom until you feel like sleeping again
  • Do not use your bed for activities other than sleep and sex!
  • Avoid alerting activities such as smoking in bed or watching TV
  • Get up at the same time each morning even if you are tired or sleepy
  • Keep active during the day and avoid daytime naps
  • Cut down on your caffeine intake

The Learn2B Team offer support through a group environment for those with sleep problems - CLICK HERE to find out more


CLICK HERE to download the Managing Sleep booklet