Looking to improve your sleep? If you’re one of the 77% of Aussies getting insufficient sleep, as reported by the 2018 Sealy Sleep Census, then yes, of course you are! As a Sleep Specialist, it’s my honour to help you get there.
The first and foremost step is to create a sleep sanctuary. This means before you’ve even practiced a meditation, you’re going to support yourself to attain deep, restorative sleep. Specifically:
- Quality mattress – based upon your your body size, sex, sleeping style (yes, it matters!) and comfort preferences; a mattress underpins (literally) your best sleep. I recommend the Sealy Posturepedic range as it takes into account the above factors, and provides you the support you need.
- Cool temperature – you may have heard of melatonin, the hormone to make you sleepy? Interestingly, it’s only manufactured when the body is below a certain temperature! Proper air ventilation, a fan or air con, bedsheets with a 200-400 thread count and a blanket in a breathable, natural fibre – all key. Further, ensuring you don’t engage in thermogenic activities such as heavy exercise or hot showers in the 120 minutes prior to bed is also helpful.
- Remove social media, TV, laptops and work from the bed. First, as published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, exposure to blue light devices, such as laptops, delays sleep by 90 minutes (1). Encouraging the release of stress hormone cortisol, our minds begin ticking over, which can also lead to anxiety or an inability to ‘switch off’. Further, doing any stimulatory activity in bed, such as social media, disrupts the psychological association that bed = relaxation and sleep; which is key in automatically winding down when you jump into bed. You know how when you visit the toilet, you instantly wonder – should I go?! This is because the brain understands toilet = number 1 or 2’s! Similarly, You want your mind to expect that bed = rest.
There you have it – 3 top tips from a Sleep Specialist. Combined, these will allow you to progress more readily into deeper sleep, reduce 3am wakings (a true sign of high stress), and ultimately, wake up with more energy and mental clarity than ever before. The best thing? This starts as soon as you put the tips into action – aka, tonight!
By Olivia Arezzolo – Sleep Specialist