Do you find there are days where you feel sluggish and dozing at your desk throughout the day? A poor night’s sleep can make a big impact on your day. Sleep expert and researcher at CQ University, Dr Amy Reynolds shares 7 ways you can get some quality sleep.
And, with reports such as The Sealy Sleep Census showing that around 75 per cent of Australians struggle to get to, or stay asleep at night and around 20 per cent face an insomnia battle three times or more per week, it may be time for many to change some habits in order to achieve a good night’s rest.
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To help more Aussies get a quality night’s sleep, I’ve compiled my seven golden rules.
1. Keep your gut happy
Your intestines are home to trillions of tiny microbes, who play an important role in keeping you healthy. Recent research even suggests that the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut can impact the quality of your sleep! Keeping those miniature microbes happy requires a balanced, fibre-rich diet.
2. Cut down on alcohol
While it may seem like you fall asleep quickly when you’ve had a few drinks, alcohol disrupts your sleep overnight and is more likely to make you feel unrefreshed in the morning. If you’re hoping to feel refreshed, try to avoid alcohol or limit your intake.
3. Head for the hills, and let nature work its magic
Sunrise and sunset are important cues for our body clock to sync to the 24h day, and there is evidence that getting away from electric light and letting natural light tell us when to sleep and wake can reset our body clock. Maybe it’s time for a camping trip this Christmas?
4. Try to stay cool
It may feel good to rug up before bed, but the ideal sleep environment is one that is cool, quiet and comfortable. Think about the space that you are sleeping in, create a room which will become your sleep haven. There are also high quality mattresses out there that are designed to let the heat flow through and keep you cool through the night.
5. Try to avoid technology
Tracking smartphone use with an app over a 30 day period has confirmed that more screen time is associated with poorer quality sleep. Cutting back on the time you spend on devices could be a good starting place to improve sleep.
6. Be positive
Your attitude may be a good place to start with improving sleep. Grateful people have more positive thoughts when falling asleep, and seem to have better quality and quantity sleep.
7. Avoid the afternoon coffee
Caffeine is a stimulant, and it can last for hours in your system. Caffeine is not limited to your daily coffee (or coffees) – it is also in some teas, chocolate and soft drinks. If you feel you’re particularly sensitive to caffeine, try limiting your consumption to the pre-lunch period.