Sleep tips

Sleep tips

 

If you don’t think you’re getting enough sleep, you’re not the only one!  The Australian Government launched a parliamentary inquiry into the Australian’s sleep following a referral on 13 September 2018 from the Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport. On April 4, 2019, the committee tabled their findings and stated:

 

“The Committee Chair, Mr Trent Zimmerman MP, stated that ‘the importance of sleep is often overlooked but it is one of the pillars of a healthy lifestyle. Regularly getting inadequate sleep is linked to a range of serious physical and mental health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and dementia.”

 

An ABC report stated:

“Sleep problems are a growing and large problem in Australia, and in fact, the research that we’ve seen indicates that something like four out of 10 Australians are not getting adequate sleep on a regular basis,” Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman said”

 

In 2016 the Unversity of Adelaide conducted the Sleep Health Survey of Australian Adults and noted:

“It is apparent that inadequate sleep, of either duration or quality, and it’s daytime consequences are very common in Australian adults, affecting 33-45% of adults.”

 

The study also found the impact on work was significant.  They stated:

“In the past month, 17% have missed work because they were sleepy and 17% have also fallen asleep on the job. In the past 3 months, 29% of adults report making errors at work due to sleepiness or sleep problems.  People with sleep problems are significantly more likely to report decreased work productivity (as assessed on the Stanford Presenteeism Scale).”

 

Here are some tips to get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis. You should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

  1. Set the alarm for the same time each day and go to bed the same time each day
  2. Walk outside before breakfast each day to wake up the body and set your circadian rhythms
  3. Exercise
  4. Prepare for sleep with a routine 90mins before bed
  5. Turn off all screens 90 minutes prior to bed (including TV, computers and phones)
  6. Invest in some blue light blockers e.g. true dark glasses
  7. Stop eating 3 hours before bed. Eating late at night forces your stomach to perform heavy digestive work which does not assist with sleeping
  8. Stop working out at least 3 hours before bed.
  9. Read prior to sleeping – 6 minutes of reading can reduce stress by up to 68%
  10. If you are warm then cool, you will get tired. For example a bath before bed
  11. Write down issues from the day and give gratitude (the good things that you are thankful for). This will help to clear your mind so you can relax
  12. Relax. Try some deep diaphragmatic breathing, yoga and/or meditation prior to going to bed. Research shows that mindfulness meditation can assist insomnia: A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation for chronic insomnia, specifically yoga: The influence of yoga on sleep
  13. Try lavender or calming essential oils
  14. Design your bedroom for sleep
  15. Understand your sleep patterns. Invest in a sleep tracker e.g. FitBit or OuraRing

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