National Sleep Awareness Week kicks off today and is the perfect opportunity to really look into our sleep habits and see if there is anything that can do to improve our sleep!
As we all know, good sleep is crucial for people’s health, mental well-being, and productivity. But we are all guilty of doing other things at night and getting to bed later than we should.
But did you know that failing to make your sleep a priority on a regular basis can result in health issues over time? It really is important to keep on top of our sleep as it is vital for our body to work effectively and carry out all the processes it needs to.
Taking a step back to evaluate your sleep quality, along with how much caffeine you consume and how tired you feel on a daily basis can help. Keep a sleep diary for a week and make a note of how much sleep you are getting a night, as well as how you are feeling. It is recommended that adults get 7-9 hours sleep per night.
Below are some tips for improving your sleep quality:
· Turn off electronics an hour before bed. That includes laptops, tablets and smartphones. If you need to be working late, consider reading in paper format or try justgetflux on your computer or the use of nightshift on your iPhone (Settings>Display>Night Shift).
· Try not to eat a huge meal before bedtime. If you feel hungry around that time, try eating a small healthy snack instead.
· Reduce your caffeine intake eight hours before going to bed. Try drinking caffeine-free tea such as chamomile, ginger, or peppermint.
· Feeling stressed? Try mediation, a bath/ hot shower or light yoga as a relaxation technique. A worry diary can help, where you write all your worries/thoughts of the day in a journal to stop the bustle in your mind while you are trying to sleep. Two free mindfulness apps are ‘Smiling Mind’ and ‘1 Giant Mind’.
· Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature (experts recommend around 18-22 degrees but experiment and see what works for you).
· Try blackout curtains or use a sleep mask if you feel your bedroom isn’t dark enough.
If you feel like there could be a medical reason for your sleep issues, please take the time to speak to your GP or take a sleep test (available from the pharmacy for $99).