5 Steps to Getting the Best Night’s Sleep
Did you have a good sleep last night? If not, you’re not alone: a study done by the Sleep Health Foundation found that Aussie’s not getting enough sleep is costing the country almost $66 billion! Here’s how to address your sleep problems and get high quality sleep.
Table of Contents
1. Create a Bedtime Routine
Doing the same things every single night signals to your brain that it’s time to get ready for sleep. This is especially good for people who often find themselves tired during the day and then wide awake at night.
If every night you dim the lights, wash your face, get in your pjs and read a book for 15 minutes, you’re less likely to have trouble sleeping because you’re brain knows it’s time for sleep. Your daily routine and even the smell of the face wash and process of reading the book in bed signals “sleep!” to your brain. Find what works for you, like a warm bath or over the counter natural sleep remedy and incorporate it into your night routine.
Of Australian’s suffer from inadequate sleep
2. Turn off that phone!
If you’re guilty of scrolling through your phone before you go to sleep, it’s time to break that habit! If you do use your phone as an alarm clock, plug it in across the room, face down, on flight mode. That way the bright light of the phone can’t wake you up in the night, giving you poor sleep, or keep you awake, disturbing your sleep cycles.
3. Try sleeping with white noise to improve sleep quality
If you find yourself regularly waking in the night, try a white noise track or rain sounds playlist. Avoid music because your brain will try and make sense of the patterns even in your sleep, whereas white noise will fade into the background and stop you hearing other sounds that may make you wake up.
Not getting enough sleep can result in:
4. Change your sleep times hour by hour
This is for the people who find themselves still awake at three am and missing out on sleep or having to get up early and getting less sleep. How long is a good night’s sleep? Ideally, you’ll be getting somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night.
If you find yourself going to bed late, and can’t get back into going to bed at 10pm, change it hour by hour. So if you’re usually having a late night and getting to bed at 2am, try going to sleep at 1.30am the next morning, and getting up a half hour earlier, too, and keep doing this until you’re at a good sleep pattern.
5. Troubleshoot what’s giving you trouble sleeping
Every person is in a different situation, and everybody’s needs are different. Some people need a completely dark sleep environment, and some people need some low level light. To get a better nights sleep, figure out what is disrupting you and play around with different options to reduce poor sleep and wake up refreshed.
Common reasons why we have trouble sleeping
Large meals before bed
Some studies suggest that this will give you sleep problems, because your body is having to do lot’s of work to digest the food. Try having a light snack before bed rather than a large meal
Are you calm before you go to bed? If you’re finding yourself tossing and turning and having a sleepless night because you’re worried, consider what you could do in the way of relaxation techniques in your nighttime routine to calm yourself down. Make sure your bedroom is a restful place, too.
Beware of naps
Are you having daytime naps? If you’ve slept too much during the day, you may find that you’re awake at night – especially if you’re napping in the late afternoon. Try reducing or cutting out naps completely. You should be aiming to get enough good sleep at night that you don’t need to nap.
To get a better night’s sleep you need to be able to go through the natural circadian rhythms, including REM (rapid eye movement) sleep cycles. If anything disturbs this, you’ll end up with sleep problems. You’re body temperature naturally changes at night, so consider if you’re waking up too cold or too hot. Also consider if you’re getting regular exercise – excess energy may make you restless.
If you’re already doing all of these and still wondering what to do to get a good night’s sleep, make sure to check in with your doctor. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea are becoming more recognised and we now know that not getting regular sleep affects everything about you, from having high blood pressure to a poor immune system. Hopefully though, you’ll be able to troubleshoot what’s interrupting your sleep and create a night routine that’s calming and acts as your sleep medicine for you to create a healthy night’s sleep.
Good night and sleep tight!
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