Need more sleep?
Do you wake up tired?
Is your first thought in the morning about going back to bed later that night?
Do you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle when it comes to getting enough sleep?
Well, you’re not alone.
In fact, research from YouGov suggests one in three Australians aren’t getting enough sleep.
Now, that’s a big problem.
Why? Because poor sleep health has a huge impact on mood, mental health, productivity and our body’s restorative functions.
Hoap Sleep Expert and world-renowned Sleep and Respiratory Physiologist, Professor Danny Eckert, goes as far as saying we’re ‘’more likely to be depressed, anxious, make rash decisions and have conflict with work colleagues and family’’ without enough sleep.
So, with that in mind, here are 5 tips to help you fall asleep faster, for longer and to reclaim your sleep. After-all, sleep is one of the three pillars of health!
Here are five ways to get a better night’s sleep
It can be hard to create new habits and sometimes life gets in the way, but if you’re able to go to sleep at night and wake up at the same time each morning, even on weekends, your body will thank you for it.
It’s all about our internal clock and circadian rhythm. The Sleep Foundation indicates that if we wake at a regular time in the morning, light stimulates biological processes in the body that keep us awake, alert and active.
The same is also true at night. Darkness stimulates melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep and keeps us asleep during the night.
So, if you can set a routine that gives yourself the best chance of achieving these natural processes, you’re well on your way to creating sustainable sleep health.
Exercise is another one of the three pillars of health and has a significant impact on sleep, specifically moderate to vigorous exercise.
‘’Exercise throughout the day is fantastically helpful in terms of promoting deep sleep,’’ according to Professor Eckert.
Sleep Foundation research also indicates exercise can increase sleep quality by reducing the time it takes to fall asleep and decreases the chance of waking up during the night.
So, it’s time to dust off the running shoes and get moving!
Food and Drink
Diet is the third and final pillar of health and has a profound impact on sleep.
Let’s start with alcohol. It’s not always easy to say no to a drink, but know you’ll have a better night sleep if you put down the bottle. That’s because alcohol relaxes the muscles around the nose and throat, essentially making it harder to breath. Professor Eckert says people who consume alcohol before bed are ‘’more likely to snore, especially if they have a predisposition to sleep apnoea.’’
Let’s stick with liquids. Coffee consumption can be detrimental to sleep too. That’s because caffeine is a stimulant. No one’s suggesting you quit coffee but avoiding it after midday will help you sleep better at night!
And one more thing, avoid heavy meals before bed!
You might be familiar with this one, but why do experts recommend putting down our phones 30-minutes before bed?
Remember melatonin, the powerful hormone that promotes sleep we mentioned earlier? Well, the blue light from our phone screens suppresses it, meaning it’s harder for your body to know when to fall asleep.
Professor Eckert recommends the bedroom be used for sleeping and intimacy only.
We’ve all experienced the discomfort and near impossibility of falling asleep on a hot summer night, that’s because the ideal sleep temperature is 22 to 24 degrees.
The body’s core temperature needs to drop to get the best sleep possible.
So, turn up the AC or pull-up the duvet to create the optimal sleep temperature and it will help you fall asleep and keep you asleep throughout the night.
These are some strategies for you to try in an effort to achieving a better sleep, try some of these over the next few weeks or months, let us know how you go!
To learn more and watch our full content series on sleep science, join Hoap today.