Hard Days and Nights: How You Can Reclaim Good Sleeping Habits

woman sleeping

If you’ve recently been having problems sleeping, you’re not alone. Recent figures show that four in ten Australians are having difficulty getting enough sleep, and three of the top five App Store downloads in the country in 2019 have been sleep-related.

While the amount of sleep needed varies between individuals, eight hours is still a good rule of thumb. People can certainly get by with more or less, but drastically short sleep hours (under six hours a day, for instance) have been linked to long-term disorders such as dementia, depression, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

There might not always be a reason for alarm, but it’s crucial to find some balance in our daily sleeping hours. Settling into a good routine can resolve sleeping problems before the need to consult a doctor arises. Here are some ways to get a good night’s rest.

Increase comfort

Try to create a space that is as conducive to uninterrupted sleep. This begins with a quick assessment of your current arrangements. Does your bed offer enough support or legroom? Don’t worry about going out of the way to check out retail stores; you can shop for cozy pillows or mattresses online and have them delivered anywhere from Perth to Brisbane. Just make sure that you go for quality and comfort.

Next, take steps to reduce disturbances in your sleeping area. Lights and noise should be kept to a minimum. If anyone living in the house with you keeps unusual or irregular waking hours, try to arrange things so that they avoid disturbing you with their movements. The room temperature should be regulated to your preferred range.

Regulate your day

What you do during your waking hours can significantly affect how you sleep. This is mainly due to the workings of our natural homeostatic and circadian systems. Our activities and other stimulants during the day can influence these systems and affect our sleeping patterns.

Getting some sunlight has been shown to regulate melatonin levels, which helps balance our sleeping hours. Studies have shown that office workers benefit from regular working hours and daylight in the workplace. If you can get any sunlight every day, it can stabilize your resting schedule.

Taking naps and drinking stimulants such as coffee can give you trouble sleeping. However, this effect can be avoided if you don’t nap or drink coffee too close to your sleeping hours. Limit coffee intake to the early part of the day and time your naps to a half-hour during midday.

Disconnect

woman sleeping peacefully

Blue light, which is commonly emitted by most electronic devices, has been shown to have a strong stimulating effect, and brief evening exposure can keep you up at night. Keep your phone or tablet out of reach at night, and you’ll have better chances of sleeping well.

You can also try meditation or certain types of yoga during the day. These practices strengthen your mental ability to distance yourself from the chatter and white noise of thoughts. Your brain might still be processing things in the evening, keeping you awake.

Ultimately, you can explore other options, such as sleep intervention and specialist consultation. However, taking some of these simple measures will bring you closer to a restful sleep.

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