Do you wake up in the morning with zest and vitality, ready to start the day? Or do you drag yourself out of bed bleary eyed and as exhausted as when you went to bed? Do you toss and turn all night? Do you put in the work but still wake up tired? Do you often feel weary with a jet lagged feeling in the morning without enjoying any of the fun travel? Does a good night’s sleep seem to be on the ship that has already sailed?
Sleeping is an interesting beast, as we pretend to sleep before we actually do it. And once we’re asleep we have no idea we’re doing it. Once we’re asleep our brain doesn’t take a break. In fact, our brain is very active when we are sleeping, with some parts more active than when we are awake. We also typically remember nothing about the hours that have passed. Such a strange process for something that we need for survival.
According to the Sleep Health Foundation more than 1 in 10 Australians regularly have problems sleeping. A bad night’s sleep affects our daily functioning including our mental and physical health. Without sleep our brain feels fatigue, body signals become delayed in addition to a host of other negative physical consequences.
So how do we get a good night’s sleep? Well, there are no guarantees in life and every person and their circumstances are different. We have put together 10 tips that can be put into place by anyone to support a better night’s sleep:
❌ Consume caffeine in the evening. For some this might mean no caffeine after lunch.
❌ Use your phone or any electronics emitting blue lights, in the evening close to bedtime. Studies have shown that blue light exposure can throw out your circadian rhythm. Do not take the phone to bed and read the news or scroll through social media before going to sleep.
❌ Eat a heavy or large meals before bed. Digestion discomfort may cause you problems with sleep quality.
❌ Work in bed. Keep the bed for sleep and snuggling with your significant other. Bringing a laptop or phone to bed is convenient, but don’t do it!
❌ Take naps. Don't get us wrong, naps can be great but if you sleep for too long or nap close to bedtime you might be throwing out your regular sleep schedule.
💤 Increase bright light exposure during the day. If you can, at lunch take a short walk or just enjoy the sunshine.
💤 Increase your physical activity. By incorporating a short walk into your day, you will not only enjoy the light exposure but enjoy the stress reducing endorphins. Just don’t exercise close to bedtime.
💤 Read a book instead of reading from your phone. Reading a book is known to be a stress reliever as it can distract you from issues including your inability to sleep.
💤 Create a calm and restful environment in the bedroom. Keeping your bedroom cool and quite is a great way to relax your mind and body prior to bed.
💤 Implement a regular routine. Humans are creatures of habit, so if you go to bed at roughly the same time every night and wake at the same time every morning your body will get into a habit, making it easier for your body to recognise when it’s time for bed.
We hope you enjoy these tips. Let us know if you have any others that have worked for you.