10 tips to get more sleep
Exhausted by sleepless nights? These simple tips will help to put your insomnia to bed.
If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, you’re not alone. Research from the Sleep Health Foundation shows that nearly 60 percent of people experience at least one symptom of insomnia three or more times a week. During times of increased stress and anxiety, we’re even more prone to sleep problems.
Getting enough sleep is important for energy levels, mood, weight control and a healthy immune system to fight off infection. So, don’t just toss and turn. Try these 10 tips to improve your bedtime habits and get a good night’s rest.
1. Stick to a routine
While your daily life can change week-to-week, it’s important to go to bed and get up at the same time so your body can settle into a regular sleep-wake cycle. Try to maintain your schedule over the weekend by booking things into your mornings to maintain your sleep-wake cycle and get the most out of your weekend.
2. Separate sleep and work
Working from home? Make sure you separate your office from the places you relax. You’ll find plenty of helpful ideas for creating a study or home office, even in a small space, here. Try not to get into a bad habit of checking your emails on your phone or laptop at the dinner table or in bed.
3. Cut down on bad news
We understand you want to keep up to date with important information. But bad news 24/7 can erode your immune system and mental health, according to Dr Marc Cohen, a registered GP and expert in psychological medicine. Get your updates from a reliable source, then spend some time on other activities like these D.I.Y. Ideas.
4. Don’t take your worries to bed
If you have specific concerns, deal with them before turning in. Try journaling or write a to-do list for the following day so you can let go of those thoughts when you hit the hay. If you are struggling to keep certain thoughts at bay The Sleep Health Foundation suggests discussing the issue with someone you trust.
5. Create your perfect sleep environment
Not loving your bedroom? Give it a makeover. Make sure to declutter your room and design the space to support your relaxation and sleep. Start with a comfortable but supportive mattress, then add some new sheets or a stylish bedhead or frame. You could even paint the walls a more soothing colour. If you need some help choosing a colour scheme, try our colour planner and visualiser.
6. Check your Netflix habit
Your phone, TV, iPad and other smart devices emit blue light that interferes with the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn them off at least an hour before bed, or invest in special glasses that block blue light, for viewing and scrolling. Try having a wind-down routine in the hour before you go to bed, by disconnecting from devices, listening to calming music, reading or doing light stretches.
7. Ban tech from the bedroom
Keep your bedroom for sleeping. TV’s should be for the living area and put your phone in another room or switch it to silent so you’re not disturbed by notifications. You can also adjust its warmth and brightness settings at night to minimise your exposure to blue light. Dust off your old alarm clock to use as an alarm instead of your phone.
8. Chill out and wind down
Your body temperature needs to drop for you to fall asleep, so you may need an air conditioner or fan if you’re not resting comfortably. Because insomnia thrives in brightly lit urban areas, choose curtains or blinds that block out any light pollution. You can also go hi-tech with a set-up like the Philips Hue wireless lighting system that lets you use light to help you wake up or wind down.
9. Get outside during the day
Even if you don’t have much spare time in your schedule a daily walk or just some time on your deck or in the garden helps keep your circadian rhythm – your body’s natural ‘clock’ – healthy. Regular exercise is also crucial to good sleep. There are plenty of online resources and apps that show you workouts from home that require no equipment.
10. Become a relaxation expert
You can beat stress and insomnia at its own game. Relax with apps like TRP or Smiling Mind, have a hot bath, meditate, watch your favourite comedy and switch caffeine for decaf or herbal teas, especially after 4pm.
Is it bed time yet?
Check out our master bedroom makeover with Geneva Vanderzeil to create a cosy room you’ll look forward to sleeping in.
Photo credit: iStock
Health & Safety
Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.
Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety
page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.