Sleep is considered to be therapeutic for most but in 2017, between 33% and 55% of Aussies were found to have poor sleep patterns. Sleep deprivation could lead to brain to irritability and could affect your productivity and your weight gain*.
7 hours is the average time sleep, although 12% sleep less than 5 hours and 8% sleep over 9 hours (numbers from the Foundation's international Sleep Health Journal in 2017). We need to change our attitude towards sleep and start considering its affect on our body and mind.
Here are a few of our tips to a sounder sleep.
"A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything."
- Keep to a sleep schedule.
Being consistent is the key to a good night sleep. Pick a bed time and a wake up time and try to stick to it as much as you can. Set an alarm to go to bed by staying on track and avoid sleeping in even on weekends. Your internal body clock runs on a 24-hour schedule and functions best when you are exposed to a regular pattern of light and dark. Waking up and going to bed at a similar time helps your body rhythm function.
- Create the perfect sleeping environment.
Obviously your bedroom needs to be comfortable. Your bedroom is for sleep and romance, anything else will distract your brain from sleep. Sleeping in a cool, quiet and dark room is ideal.
Reduce blue light exposure in the evening like large amounts from electronics. It's time to ditch smartphones, computers or TV from the bedroom! Change the location of your alarm o'clock if you find yourself constantly looking at it, worrying. Turn it away from your sight or far from your bed as it will force you to get up in the morning :)
- Start a ritual.
Prepare your brain to sleep and learn to meditate. Too many thoughts at night..? Start journaling and clear your brain from overthinking. Do some easy stretches or tense all your muscles then completely relax and work you way up to the top of your head with deep breath.
Stressful day..? Take a warm bath about 90 minutes before bed to improve greater amounts of deep sleep.
Surround yourself of scents you like. For example, lavender may decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. Soothing scents can improve your mood and help you relax.
Visualise a peaceful place in your mind just before turning off the light. Then get yourself comfortable by adopting the right position. Studies show that sleeping on your left side is better. The reasons are not entirely clear but should at least induce heartburn. If you are experiencing back pain, just place a pillow under your legs.
" A well spent day brings happy sleep."
- Food for thoughts.
During the day avoid caffeine after 3-4pm. It seems that caffeine stays elevated in your blood for 6-8 hours. Drink plenty of water during the day but not 2 hours before sleeping. Don't use alcohol to fall asleep so no drinks within 3 hours of bedtime. Be active during the day and stop exercising 4 hours before bed to reduce your level of hormones created after a good work out. Skip sleeping pills but opt for supplements like magnesium to enhance sleep quality and improve relaxation. Last but not least, eat light! Chicken, turkey, almond or dairy can boost the sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin.
Australia, it's time to go to bed!
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