Our Wellness Coordinator Olivia Turnbull shares her tips on getting a full night of zzzzzz’s!
1. Stick to a routine
Aim for the same bedtime and wake up time. This helps to regulate your circadian rhythm (body clock). Set alarms or reminders to help!
2. Find a relaxation ritual
A relaxing activity before bed helps to reduce your cortisol levels, making it easier to fall asleep, remain asleep and get a sound and deep seep. Try meditation – download the Smiling Mind and/or Headspace apps for guidance!
3. Limit screen time
The blue light emitted by phones, tablets, computers or TVs disturbs your melatonin – your sleep hormone. You can minimise the impact by using devices with smaller screens, turning the brightness down, using light-altering software or getting rid of it altogether!
Vigorous exercise is best, but anything, at any time (not at the expense of your sleep) is better than nothing! Exercise actively raises your body temperature, which helps increase melatonin production. It also reduces anxious and depressive symptoms, which also helps your quality and quantity of sleep.
5. Evaluate your room
Ensure your sleep environment is cool, free of noise and dark. Yes, this may mean working on your partners snoring issues too! Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, fans and ‘white noise’ devices.
6. Get comfy
Make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable and supportive. Check to see if your mattress has exceeded its life expectancy – most good qualify mattresses last about 9 or 10 years.
7. Avoid the SAC
Steer clear of smoking, alcohol and caffeine in the afternoon. Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it disturbs your normal sleep cycle – meaning your sleep quality is poorer. Also, did you know it can take up to 1 hours to eliminate caffeine and its stimulative effects from your system? Don’t drink it after 7pm to be safe.
8. Avoid clock watching
If you find yourself wide awake, clock watching will only increase your anxious feelings, stimulating your brain and preventing you from falling asleep. If possible, take your clock out of your bedroom, or turn it around so that you can’t see the time.
8.25 Consider getting help if required
If you’re still struggling with your sleep, talk to your doctor to make sure you don’t have an underlying issues.
Love Olivia’s health & wellness tips and want to see more? Read her other tips on Our News and check your community noticeboard for the next Wellness seminar!