In our busy lives with long working hours, deadlines, travel time, family commitments and social events, it’s easy for our sleep to suffer. But getting regular, restful sleep is crucial for good health. It gives your body much needed time to repair and restore itself, keeps your immunity strong and makes you more resistant to illness.
What can I do for better sleep?
One of the most important things you can do to help you maintain good sleep is to keep it regular.
Try going to sleep and waking again at the same time each day, even on weekends if you can.
Aim for around 7-8 hours of sleep each night – some people may need a little more, others a little less.
Be smart about napping. If you like to nap during the day, make sure you keep it to no more than 30 minutes or you may have trouble sleeping at night.
Preparation is key
There are things you can do during the day to help make the most of your snooze time at night.
Avoid ‘sleep stealers’ like caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
Regular exercise will boost your energy during the day and prepare your body for a better sleep at night.
Hydrate well in the morning and during the day but slow down your water intake in the evening so that you don’t need to make frequent trips to the bathroom.
Try not to eat too late. Have dinner at least 2-3 hours before your bedtime and avoid heavy, rich foods.
As your bedtime approaches choose quiet activities that help you ‘wind down’. Avoid ‘screen-time’ if you can.
Make it cosy
If you can, make your place of sleep as quiet and cosy as possible.
Use soft lighting, and keep your bedroom or sleeping area at a comfortable temperature.
If you can, invest in a comfortable and supportive mattress and pillows.
Remove unnecessary distractions like your television, radio, laptop and mobile phone.
Did you know?
Depriving your body of sleep will increase your body’s insulin resistance, making it easier for you to gain weight!
Getting a good night’s sleep is fundamental to being able to live a happy, healthy life. If you've tried these tips and you're still having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor or a qualified sleep professional.
For more information on sleep and its health benefits, go to the Sleep Health Foundation and the Australasian Sleep Association.