Everyone needs to sleep but not everyone can just sleep when they want to. The Australian Sleep Health Foundation survey says “Australians are suffering from a fatigue and exhaustion on a daily basis due to inadequate or ineffective sleep”. The statistics are shocking.
Professor David Hillman, president of the Sleep Health Foundation, says at least nine per cent of all serious road crashes in the country are due to fatigue – a total of 25,920 injuries per year with associated costs of $277,912 per accident.
“It is time for people to make sleep a priority: 18 per cent of adults regularly sleep less than six hours per night and 20 per cent suffer chronically from poor sleep, half of these from a sleep disorder and the remainder from poor sleep habits,” Hillman said.
So try out these five tips to find that elusive good night’s sleep.
Keep bed time sacred
Go to bed the same time each night and wake up the same time each morning. We do the same thing for kids but we somehow forget to do it for ourselves as adults. Your body will figure out your sleeping rhythm and it’ll help you get a better sleep each night.
Avoid certain foods at night
Don’t be hungry or full closer to your bedtime, but most of all avoid anything with caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes or sugar. Stimulants will keep you awake and although alcohol can kick you unconscious, it won’t be a peaceful night’s sleep.
No screen time
We all know that kids should not have any screen time before bed because it affects their sleep. But we forget that the same rules apply to grown ups. There are several studies already conducted about how exposure to smart phone screens is related with lower sleep quality. Screens are becoming a regular part of everyone’s life. But the study showed that longer average screen time was connected with poor sleep quality and less sleep overall.
If you can’t scroll through Facebook or Instagram before bed then what are you supposed to do? Reading, apparently. People who read have greater memory and mental abilities, and are better thinkers and speakers. But apart from that, reading also helps fight insomnia. A study showed that a mere six minutes of reading reduces stress by 68 per cent. This activity clears the mind and prepares the body for sleep. It doesn’t even matter what book you’re reading so you can read whatever you want.
Exercise is key
Doing any physical activity during the day actually helps with sleep. You don’t need to go on a 10K marathon or an F25 training. Even walking for over 30 minutes helps. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a study showed that people sleep a lot better and feel more active during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. So get walking!
Try out these tips and write down what difference you feel after each night. This way, you have a good idea of what is working and what is not.